From the eye to behaviour.

Many of the computations performed by the nervous system can be interpreted as answers to particular challenges posed by the live histories of an animal. However, it remains unknown how neural circuits are organized to carry out the computations that link specific sensory inputs with the activation of the appropriate behaviour.

Karl Farrow

Group Leader
NERF Principal Investigator since 2013
Postdoc, Friedrich Miescher Institute, Switzerland, 2007-2012
Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, 2005-2007
PhD, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany, 2005
MSc, University of Toronto, Canada, 2001
BSc, University of Toronto, Canada, 1998

Research areas

Neurobiology Systems biology


The purpose of our research is uncover the details and fundamental principals of how information is disseminated and organized in the brain to enable the necessary computations that link sensory stimuli with the triggering of suitable behaviours.

To make sure we focus on direct lines of communication, we restrict the search to ‘disynaptic’ connections, involving a single relay, between the retina and the central brain target of interest. We are currently focusing on pathways passing through the superior colliculus, a central structure in the mammalian midbrain.

In collaboration with the lab of Alan Urban we use whole brain functional imaging to map the effective projections of single cell types in the retina and superior colliculus.



To showcase the world-class scientific research of the Karl Farrow Lab, you can discover their scientific papers in more detail.


We are always on the lookout for highly motivated colleagues to join our team. If you are interested to work, please let us know.


The Karl Farrow Lab can only thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its people, no matter what their function or seniority.


To stay up to date in rapidly developing fields, scientists regularly interact with (international) colleagues. Conferences and other (scientific) events are an excellent way to facilitate such a continent-spanning knowledge exchange.