james isbister

James Isbister

DPhil Student

Main research area: Vision


The Queen’s College





James is an English computational neuroscientist working towards a DPhil in Experimental Psychology, funded by the ESRC and EPSRC. In June 2015, James completed his BSc in Computer Science with Mathematics from the University of Bath. Before beginning his DPhil in October 2016, he worked in the lab as a research intern, co-creating Spike, a GPGPU spiking neural network simulator, which will be used for his main doctoral research.

Outside of the lab, James enjoys songwriting and a number of sports. Whilst at Bath, James created Mind Palace App, the first technological implementation of the Method of Loci memory technique and co-chaired the university entrepreneur group.

research summary

James’ doctoral research investigates visually-guided learning of object shape representations in spiking neural network models of the mammalian visual cortex. In the context of visual processing, his work will explore the importance of network, neuronal and synaptic architectures in the emergence of polychrony and a hypothesised mechanistic solution to the binding problem. Towards this research, James will continue to develop and maintain the Spike GPGPU neural network simulator.

James hopes to extend his work to explore the development of object shape representations in cluttered scenes. This will include investigation into the representation of three-dimensional object shape and the spatial relationships between multiple objects. He is also interested in how models of visual processing could be interfaced with behavioural models of motor planning.

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