Karl Farrow Lab

Research focus

​The lab’s broad research objectives are to understand the brain computations involved in the processing of sensory information. We have a strong interest in understanding visual processing and its contributions to behavior from a retina-centric point of view. In particular, how the information extracted from visual scene by the retina contribute to downstream brain computations and behavior.
To address these questions we employ electrophysiological and advanced imaging techniques to probe neural activity, molecular techniques to target and manipulate specific cell types and viral tracing techniques to unravel the connectivity between identified neurons. These lines of inquiry address fundamental issues about how information is disseminated in the brain, the collective encoding of information by populations of neurons and the computations performed by identified neural circuits.


Secreted amyloid-beta precursor protein functions as a GABABR1a ligand to modulate synaptic transmissionRice H De Malmazet D Schreurs A Frere S Van Molle I Volkov A Creemers E Vertkin I Nys J Ranaivoson F Comoletti D Savas J Remaut H Balschun D Wierda K Slutsky I Farrow K De Strooper B* De Wit J*SCIENCE, 363, eaao4827, 2019* or °: authors contributed equally
A projection specific logic to sampling visual inputs in mouse superior colliculus.Reinhard Katja* Li Chen* Do Quan Burke Emily Heynderickx Steven Farrow Karl@eLife, 8, e50697, 2019* or °: authors contributed equally@: corresponding authors
Locomotion modulates specific functional cell types in the mouse visual thalamusAydin C* Couto J* Giugliano M Farrow K Bonin VNature Communications, 9, 4882, 2018* or °: authors contributed equally
Retinotopic Separation of Nasal and Temporal Motion Selectivity in the Mouse Superior ColliculusDe Malmazet Daniel Kühn Norma Farrow KarlCURRENT BIOLOGY, 28, 2961-2969 e4, 2018
Ambient illumination toggles a neuronal circuit switch in the retina and visual perception at cone thresholdFarrow Karl Teixeira M. C Szikra T Viney T. J Balint K Yonehara K Roska BNEURON, 78, 325-38, 2013

Job openings


Mapping the relay networks of our brain

29/11/2019 - A team of scientists led by Karl Farrow at NeuroElectronics Research Flanders (NERF, empowered by imec, KU Leuven and VIB) is unraveling how our brain processes visual information.

What’s catching your eye?

31/08/2018 - To understand more about how we respond to what we see around us, a team of scientists at NERF has zoomed in on the organization of neurons in the superior colliculus, a midbrain structure that mediates orientation responses to visual cues.

Karl Farrow

Karl Farrow

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)


PhD: Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology. Munich, Germany. 2001 - 2005. 
Postdoc: Harvard Medical School. 2005 - 2007.
Postdoc: Friedrich Miescher Institute. 2007 - 2012
VIB Group Leader since April 2013 

Contact Info

NERF, empowered by IMEC, KU Leuven and VIBImec CampusKapeldreef 75 3001 LEUVENRoute description