Skip to main content

Data Stories | Untuned but not irrelevant

Researcher Joel Zylberberg studies how the brain encodes and computes visual information. Zylberberg used data from the Allen Brain Observatory to explore the role of what are called “untuned neurons” in coding visual information.


1 min read

Texture Background Image Texture Background Image

Data Stories | Untuned but not irrelevant

While “tuned” neurons respond to specific types of visual information – vertical black bars, for example – the firing rates of “untuned neurons” do not appear tied to any specific stimulus. See what Zylberberg and his colleagues found when they began probing the role of untuned neurons in sensory information coding.

About the Allen Institute

The Allen Institute is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization founded by philanthropist and visionary, the late Paul G. Allen. The Allen Institute is dedicated to answering some of the biggest questions in bioscience and accelerating research worldwide. The Institute is a recognized leader in large-scale research with a commitment to an open science model. Its research institutes and programs include the Allen Institute for Brain Science, launched in 2003; the Allen Institute for Cell Science, launched in 2014; the Allen Institute for Immunology, launched in 2018; and the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics, launched in 2021. In 2016, the Allen Institute expanded its reach with the launch of The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which identifies pioneers with new ideas to expand the boundaries of knowledge and make the world better. For more information, visit

Science Programs at Allen Institute