Skip to main content
Zachary W. Davis

Zachary W. Davis, PhD

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

Research Interests

  • Cortical Circuits and Systems
  • Neural Activity Measuring and Manipulating
  • Mechanisms of Visual Impairment
  • Maintenance and Restoration of Visual Function
  • Oculomotor Nerve
  • Visual Perception
  • Computational Modeling

The Davis Laboratory at the John A. Moran Eye Center is focused on uncovering the mechanisms in the brain whereby visual information collected by the retina is processed and integrated by circuits and systems in the cortex to generate our experience of visual perception. Through this process, the lab hopes to identify basic science principles underlying the normal healthy function of the visual system and understand how visual impairments through damage or disease can be mitigated or reversed to prevent vision loss or restore visual function.

The objectives of the lab are:

• Develop theoretical models of visual function in the cortex using biologically grounded computational network models.

• Test the tenets of theoretical models of visual function by measuring perceptual thresholds and visual behaviors using advanced psychophysical experiments.

• Develop and implement tools to measure and manipulate neural activity and determine causal mechanisms underlying visual function in the brain.

• Dissect and dissociate the anatomical and functional contributions of cells, circuits, and systems in the cortex to the function of the visual system.

• Characterize the consequence of visual impairment through damage and disease of the visual system.

• Evaluate and validate the efficacy of treatment strategies in preventing or recovering visual function following impairment.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of California, Davis
Undergraduate University of California, Berkeley

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Dotson NM, Davis ZW, Jendritza P, Reynolds JH (2023). Acute Neuropixels recordings in the marmoset monkey. (Read full article)
  2. Dotson NM, Davis ZW, Salisbury JM, Palmer SE, Cavanagh P, Reynolds JH (2023). The double-drift illusion biases the marmoset oculomotor system. J Vis, 23(10), 4. (Read full article)
  3. Benigno GB, Budzinski RC, Davis ZW, Reynolds JH, Muller L (2023). Waves traveling over a map of visual space can ignite short-term predictions of sensory input. Nat Commun, 14(1), 3409. (Read full article)
  4. Davis ZW, Dotson NM, Franken TP, Muller L, Reynolds JH (2023). Spike-phase coupling patterns reveal laminar identity in primate cortex. Elife, 12. (Read full article)
  5. Davis ZW, Muller L, Reynolds JH (2022). Spontaneous Spiking Is Governed by Broadband Fluctuations. J Neurosci, 42(26), 5159-5172. (Read full article)
  6. Davis ZW, Benigno GB, Fletterman C, Desbordes T, Steward C, Sejnowski TJ, H Reynolds J, Muller L (2021). Spontaneous traveling waves naturally emerge from horizontal fiber time delays and travel through locally asynchronous-irregular states. Nat Commun, 12(1), 6057. (Read full article)
  7. Davis ZW, Muller L, Martinez-Trujillo J, Sejnowski T, Reynolds JH (2020). Spontaneous travelling cortical waves gate perception in behaving primates. Nature, 587(7834), 432-436. (Read full article)
  8. Bacigalupo F, Davis ZW, Napan J, Royston A (2016). Propagating Cortical Waves May Underlie Illusory Motion Perception. J Neurosci, 36(26), 6854-6. (Read full article)
  9. Davis ZW, Chapman B, Cheng HJ (2015). Increasing Spontaneous Retinal Activity before Eye Opening Accelerates the Development of Geniculate Receptive Fields. J Neurosci, 35(43), 14612-23. (Read full article)
  10. Davis ZW, Sun C, Derieg B, Chapman B, Cheng HJ (2015). Epibatidine blocks eye-specific segregation in ferret dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus during stage III retinal waves. PLoS One, 10(3), e0118783. (Read full article)
  11. Gevins A, Ilan AB, Jiang A, Chan CS, Gelinas D, Smith ME, McEvoy LK, Schwager E, Padilla M, Davis Z, Meador KJ, Patterson J, OHara R (2010). A method to combine cognitive and neurophysiological assessments of the elderly. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord, 31(1), 7-19. (Read full article)