Vasha DuTell

Reveal Contact Info

PhD Student

Vision Science

Olshausen Lab

Current Research

Most of my projects focus on modeling early visual processing, as is done in the retina. Specifically, I am interested in the joint spatio-temporal aspects of natural signals, and the compression scheme implemented by ganglion cells for transmitting the time-varying visual signal to LGN and V1. I study both the statistics of natural movies, as well as the sensitivity of the human visual system to the joint spatio-temporal frequency spectrum. I work with shallow autoencoder models which are trained to implement biologically-plausible compression schemes on natural images and videos. I also collaborate with other Vision Science labs, using psychophysics to study spatiotemporal sensitivity and natural videos.


I began my academic career studying Physics & Computer Science at University of Oregon, in my home town of Eugene. Wanting to learn more about how neurons perform computation, I did a Master’s in Biology also at UofO, and spent two years as a Bioinformatician in Dr. Ron Yu’s lab at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City, studying sex and strain specific gene expression in neurons of the mouse vomeronasal organ. I’m now a PhD student in Berkeley’s Vision Science program, studying the theoretical and computational aspects of early vision. My research is generously supported by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. In my free time I like to rock climb, cook new foods, and take my cat on walks.