Postdoctoral Spotlight: Allison Murphy, PhD

Jul. 24, 2023

Allison Murphy, PhD (’23), a postdoctoral associate in the lab of Farran Briggs, PhD, received a doctoral degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Her research focuses on the structure and function of a feedback connection between two brain areas: the primary visual cortex and the visual part of the thalamus (LGN). Examining how this connection is organized, and how the neurons in the primary visual cortex influence the activity in the LGN could aid in understanding how this pathway contributes to visual processing.

Allison Murphy, PhD

“When people think about vision, they often think about the eyes, but a huge part of the brain is part of the visual processing system,” said Murphy. “There is this information loop between the visual cortex and LGN that we do not fully understand. A big part of my thesis research involved figuring out why this circuit exists and the role it plays in our vision.”

Murphy completed her undergraduate at Denison University. She majored in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. It was during that time she became interested in visual neuroscience.

The storied history in vision science at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, including the Center for Visual Science, made Rochester her first choice for graduate school. 

Long term, Murphy plans to continue to study vision neuroscience. “I find the link between the activity in our brain and our visual experience really interesting. We still don’t fully understand how all of these brain areas work together to help us see, so there are many exciting areas of research to pursue in the future.”

Article originally appeared in the NeURoscience Newsletter Volume 18.