Isaac V Kauvar



I am currently a PhD student at Stanford University in Electrical Engineering, supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

I am fascinated by both light and the brain, and I leverage optics and imaging to understand mechanisms of neural information processing and cognitive control.


As a member of the Deisseroth and Wetzstein labs, I am broadly interested in designing and using new tools to understand the links between animal behavior and the structural and functional connectivity of neural circuits.


I am a devoted photographer; check out some of my work here.
I also enjoy cinematography, some of which can be seen here.


  1. Lovett-Barron M, Andalman AS, Allen WE, Vesuna S, Kauvar I, Burns VM, Deisseroth K.
    Ancestral circuits for the coordinated modulation of brain state. Cell (2017). [PDF]

  2. Selimbeyoglu A, Kim CK, Inoue M, Lee SY, Hong ASO, Kauvar I, Ramakrishnan C, Fenno LE, Davidson TJ, Wright M, Deisseroth K.
    Modulation of prefrontal cortex excitation/inhibition balance rescues social behavior in CNTNAP2-deficient mice. Science Translational Medicine (2017). [PDF]

  3. Allen WE*, Kauvar I*, Chen MZ, Richman E, Yang SJ, Chan K, Gradinaru V, Deverman BE, Luo L, Deisseroth K.
    Global representations of goal-directed behavior in distinct cell types of mouse neocortex. Neuron (2017). * = equal contribution [link][PDF][press]

  4. Kauvar I, Chang J, Wetzstein G.
    Aperture interference and the volumetric resolution of light field fluorescence microscopy. IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP) (2017). [site][PDF][supplement]

  5. Chang J, Kauvar I, Hu X, Wetzstein G.
    Variable Aperture Light Field Photography: Overcoming the Diffraction-limited Spatio-angular Resolution Tradeoff. IEEE CVPR (2016). [site][PDF][supplement]

  6. Kim CK, Yang SJ, Pichamoorthy N, Young NP, Kauvar I, Jennings JH, Lerner TN, Berndt A, Lee SY, Ramakrishnan C, Davidson TJ, Inoue M, Bito H, Deisseroth K.
    Simultaneous fast measurement of circuit dynamics at multiple sites across the mammalian brain. Nature Methods (2016). [PDF][supplement]

  7. Tomer R, Lovett-Barron M, Kauvar I, Andalman AS, Burns VM, Sankaran S, Grosenick L, Broxton M, Yang S, Deisseroth K.
    SPED Light Sheet Microscopy: Fast Mapping of Biological System Structure and Function. Cell 163:7 (2015). [PDF]

  8. Yang SJ, Allen WE, Kauvar I, Andalman AS, Young NP, Kim CK, Marshel JH, Wetzstein G., Deisseroth K.
    Extended field-of-view and increased-signal 3D holographic illumination with time-division multiplexing. Optics Express 23:25 (2015). [link] [site] [PDF]

  9. Kauvar I, Yang SJ, Shi, L, McDowall I, Wetzstein G.
    Adaptive color display via perceptually-driven factored spectral projection. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) 34:6 (2015): 165. [PDF]

  10. Gunaydin LA*, Grosenick L*, Finkelstein JC*, Kauvar IV*, Fenno LE, Adhikari A, Lammel S, Mirzabekov JJ, Airan RD, Zalocusky KA, Tye KM, Anikeeva P, Malenka RC, Deisseroth K. *co-first authors
    Natural Neural Projection Dynamics Underlying Social Behavior. Cell 157.7 (2014): 1535-1551.
    [ PDF | VTA-NAc social behavior video | VTA-NAc novel objects video | VTA social behavior video | VTA novel object video | Stanford Medicine | Scope Blog | LA Times | TIME]

  11. Hoke E, Sachs Quintana IT, Lloyd MT, Kauvar IV, Mateker WR, Nardes AM, Peters CH, Kopidakis N, McGehee MD.
    The Role of Electron Affinity in Determining Whether Fullerenes Catalyze or Inhibit Photooxidation of Polymers for Solar Cells. Advanced Energy Materials 2.11 (2012): 1351-1357. [PDF]

  12. Rivnay J, Toney MF, Zheng Y, Kauvar IV, Chen Z, Wagner V, Facchetti A, Salleo A.
    Unconventional Face-On Texture and Exceptional In-Plane Order of a High Mobility n-Type Polymer. Advanced Materials 22.39 (2010): 4359-4363. [PDF]


In 2014 I worked as a computational imaging engineer at Light.

I spent the summer of 2013 traveling along the northern Mediterranean, shooting rolls and rolls of black and white film. These photographs led to a solo exhibition in the Stanford SubGallery (many of which can be viewed here).

In 2012-2013 I completed a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University on an IEEE Charles Legeyt Fortescue Scholarship. I studied primarily machine learning, image processing, and photography.

During the summer of 2012, I worked at Apple as part of the Panel Process and Optics team where I leveraged my background in optical physics to improve the liquid crystal display stack, resulting in this patent.

Before I happened upon imaging, photography, and neuroscience, I was most passionate about renewable (in particular, solar) energy conversion. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, majoring in Engineering Physics, I worked with Alberto Salleo and at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, yielding two publications in the realm of improved organic semiconductors and lifetime stability of organic photovoltaics.

some undergrad projects

Ferrofluid music visualizer
An iPod controlled sound system with a dynamic equalizer and a ferrofluid wave chamber controlled by electromagnets synced to the music. (The linked video shows the not-quite-finished product).

A sumo wrestling robot, the final project for a mechatronics class.