Peter Lennie

Peter Lennie

  • Jay Last Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Science

PhD, University of Cambridge, 1972

316 Meliora Hall
Fax: (585) 275-3480

Office Hours: By appointment

Research Overview

My work sits at the interface between visual perception and visual physiology. All my research is connected by the idea that visual perception can be explained in terms of underlying neural mechanisms. The work involves both perceptual experiments to explore performance, and physiological ones to record the activity of single neurons, the aim being, where possible, to link observations in the two domains. My recent work has focused on two broad problems: how the visual selectivities of neurons become elaborated at successive levels in the visual pathway, and how signals about color are encoded by visual neurons.

Elaboration of Visual Selectivity. Neurons in primary visual cortex are distinctively selective for the properties of visual stimuli. Many of these properties have been thought to arise within cortex, because at earlier stages of the visual pathway, in retina and in lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), neurons generally have much simpler properties. Our recent work shows that the early mechanisms contribute hitherto unsuspected richness to the behavior of cortical neurons.

Encoding of Color. Color vision is better understood perceptually than it is physiologically. My collaborators and I have been working recently on two problems: which neurons are important for conveying signals about color? How do they select inputs from the three types (L, M, and S) of cone photoreceptors?

Research Interests

  • functional organization of vision
  • color vision

Selected Publications

  • Solomon, S.G., & Lennie, P. (2007). The Machinery of Color Vision. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8, 276-286. [PDF (680k)]
  • Tailby, C.T., Solomon, S.G., Dhruv, N.T., Majaj, N.J., Sokol, S.H., Lennie, P. (2007). A New Code for Contrast in the Primate Visual Pathway. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 3904-3909. [PDF (420k)]
  • Webb, B.S., Dhruv, N.T., Solomon, S.G., Tailby, C.T., Lennie, P. (2005) Early and late mechanisms of surround suppression in striate cortex of macaque. Journal of Neuroscience25:11666-11675.[PDF (752k)]
  • Lennie, P., & Movshon, J.A. (2005). Coding of color and form in the geniculostriate visual pathway. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 22, 2013-2033. [PDF (776k)]
  • Solomon, S.G., & Lennie, P. (2005). Chromatic gain controls in visual cortical neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 4779-4792. [PDF (1340k)]
  • Solomon, S.G., Peirce, J.W., Dhruv, N.T., & Lennie, P. (2004). Profound contrast adaptation early in the visual pathway. Neuron, 42, 155-162. [PDF (158k)]
  • Solomon, S.G., Peirce, J.W., & Lennie, P. (2004). The impact of suppressive surrounds on chromatic properties of cortical neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 148-160. [PDF (458k)]
  • Müller, J.R., Metha, A.B., Krauskopf, J., & Lennie, P. (2003). Local signals from beyond the receptive fields of striate cortical neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology, 90 (2), 822-831. [PDF (216k)]
  • Lennie, P. The cost of cortical computation. Current Biology 13: 493-497, 2003. [PDF (148k)]
  • Forte, J., Peirce, J.W., Kraft, J.M., Krauskopf, J., & Lennie, P. (2002). Residual eye-movements in macaque and their effects on visual responses of neurons. Visual Neuroscience, 19 (1), 31-38. [PDF (964k)]
  • Forte, J., Peirce, J., & Lennie, P. (2002). Binocular integration of partially occluded surfaces. Vision Research, 42 (10), 1225-1235. [PDF (580k)]
  • Müller, J.R., Metha, A.B., Krauskopf, J., & Lennie, P. (2001). Information conveyed by onset transients in responses of striate cortical neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 21, 6978-6990. [PDF (394k)]
  • Li, A., & Lennie, P. (2001). Importance of color in the segmentation of variegated surfaces. Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 18 (6), 1240-1251. [PDF (262k)]
  • Metha, A.B., & Lennie, P. (2001). Transmission of spatial information in S-cone pathways. Visual Neuroscience, 18 (6), 961-972. [PDF (841k)]
  • Roorda, A., Metha, A. B., Lennie, P. and Williams, D. R. (2001). Packing arrangement of the three cone classes in primate retina. Vision Research, 41, 1291-1306. [PDF (1195k)]
  • Lennie, P. (2000). Color vision: putting it together. Current Biology, 10, R589-R591. [PDF (75k)]
  • McMahon, M. J., Lankheet, M. J. M., Lennie, P. and Williams, D. (2000). Fine structure of parvocellular receptive fields in the primate fovea revealed by laser interferometry. Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 2043-2053. [PDF (364k)]