James Warwick Bisley

Department Vice Chair, Neurobiology, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles

P.O. Box 951763
Los Angeles, CA 90025


Member, Brain Research InstituteNeuroengineering Training ProgramNeuroscience GPB Home Area

Research Interests

My interests revolve around vision and visual perception. Specifically, I have focused on 2 questions: What are the neural mechanisms underlying the allocation of visual attention and how are moving stimuli encoded and remembered in the brain. To answer these questions, I work with animals that are trained to perform simple behavioral tasks. I then use techniques such as single unit recording, reversible inactivation, microstimulation and long-term lesion studies. Recently, I have been studying the responses of neurons in posterior parietal cortex, while the animals perform under naturalistic viewing conditions. I am also running experiments that are aimed at understanding how information about visual motion is stored in short-term memory tasks. Finally, I have a continuing study aimed at understanding distractions based on a hierarchal model of the attentional allocation system.


Dr Bisley received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in Australia where he studied the peripheral somatosensory system. He did his first post-doc at the University of Rochester working with Dr Tatiana Pasternak, where he studied the neural mechanisms underlying memory for motion. In 1999, he went to Washington, DC where he worked with Dr Michael E. Goldberg at Georgetown University and the National Eye Institute, studying the neural mechanisms underlying visuo-spatial attention. Dr Bisley moved to Columbia University with Dr Goldberg in 2002 and joined UCLA in 2006.