Darcy Peterka, PhD

Darcy Peterka is a Senior Scientist and the Director of Cellular Imaging at the Zuckerman Institute, were he strives to develop and deploy cutting-edge optical methods to help answer diverse and challenging questions about the brain and its function. Before joining the Zuckerman Institute, he spent 7 years as a research scientist in Rafael Yuste’s lab. Trained in chemical physics, Darcy’s PhD is from UC Berkeley, and he spent many years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he used imaging to gain insight into fundamental chemical processes and interactions.
 
Darcy's research combines advances in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and statistics to develop novel optical methods to observe and modulate neural activity to answer a variety of questions. For example, what characterizes the spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity, and what do these patterns mean? Is the activity redundant, distributed, and robust? How does the network generate them? He is currently exploring two general areas. The first relies on "task-based" imaging - the joint optimization of hardware and algorithms to create imaging systems designed to optimally perform specific measurements. These systems are not designed to produce aesthetic images, but rather to record maximal information with respect to the desired task.The second is centered on optical control of neural activity, and relies on using wavefront shaping to generate synthetic light fields and holography to deterministically modulate neural circuits.
 
Visit the ZMBBI Cellular Imaging site for more information.