Research Expertise and Interest
mammalian visual system, retinal function
Rowland Taylor is a professor of optometry and vision science in the School of Optometry, and the Vision Science Graduate Program Chair. The goal of his research is to understand how neural circuits within the mammalian retina encode and transmit information about the visual environment. Ultimately, understanding circuit function in the healthy and diseased retina will aid in the development of treatments designed to restore sight. To this end, it is essential to understand how the neurons encode visual information, and how the biophysical characteristics and neural architecture constrain the performance of the system. The experimental work emphasizes quantitative measurements of neural responses to natural stimuli in the intact retina. They also perform immunohistochemical studies to localize transmitter receptors and channels within specific neural circuits. Additionally, they construct computer models of neurons and circuits, based on realistic morphologies and neural connectivity, and run simulations of circuit function to further test our understanding, and to generate experimentally testable predictions.