Matthew Chalk


Research interests

I am a final year Phd student in computational neuroscience, supervised by Dr. Peggy Series and Prof. Alex Thiele.

I am part of the Neuroinformatics DTC and Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, School of Informatics, at the University of Edinburgh.

My CV can be downloaded here.

I am interested in the relationship between the activity of neurons and our perceptual experience of the world. A particular focus of my work is to understand cognitive phenomena such as sensory attention, expectations and adaptation, both at the computational level (what is the underlying ‘goal’?) and at the algorithmic level (how is this goal achieved by sensory neurons?). Focuses of my work include:

  1. Computational basis of sensory attention. I have conducted psychophysics experiments looking at how visual perception is altered by our expectations in collaboration with Prof. Aaron Seitz. Currently I am using probabilistic models to understand the computational goals underlying visual attention. The eventual aim is to relate this to experimentally observed attention-dependent changes in neural activity, and perception.

  2. Sensory attention and neural coding. I have conducted work looking at the influence of selective visual attention on neuronal oscillations in macaque V1 with Prof. Alex Thiele.

  3. Neural codes for representing probability distributions. I am investigating different ways that probability distributions could be encoded by the activity of neural populations. In particular, I am interested in how different codes could be distinguished experimentally.


  1. Chalk*, M. Seitz*, A. R. Seriès, P.

  2. Rapidly learned stimulus expectations alter perception of motion

  3. Journal of Vision, 2010, 10(8), Article 2

  4. Chalk*, M. Herrero*, J. L. Gieselmann, M. A. Delicato, L. S. Gotthardt, S. Thiele, A.

  5. Attention reduces stimulus-driven gamma frequency oscillations and spike field coherence in V1

  6. Neuron, 2010, 66(1), 114-25

  7. * equal contribution authors

Contact details

Neuroinformatics Doctoral Training Centre

University of Edinburgh

Room 2.51

10 Crichton Street



United Kingdom

+44 7841 847 223