Prof. Dr. Zhaoping Li

Max Planck Fellow

Main Focus

Research interests:


  • Neural networks
  • Signal processing
  • Control theory and systems
  • Machine Vision

Curriculum Vitae

I obtained my B.S. in Physics in 1984 from Fudan University, Shanghai, and Ph.D. in Physics in 1989 from California Institute of Technology. I was a postdoctoral researcher in Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois USA, Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton New Jersey, USA, and Rockefeller University in New York USA. I have been a faculty member in Computer Science in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and was a visiting scientist at various academic institutions. In 1998, my colleagues and I co-founded the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit in University College London. From Oct. 2018, I am a professor in University of Tuebingen and a Max Planck Fellow in the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen, Germany. 
My research experience throughout the years ranges from areas in high energy physics to neurophysiology and marine biology, with most experience in understanding the brain functions in vision, olfaction, and in nonlinear neural dynamics. In late 90s and early 2000s, I proposed a theory (which is being extensively tested) that the primary visual cortex in the primate brain creates a saliency map to automatically attract visual attention to salient visual locations. I am the author of Understanding Vision: theory, models, and data, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Go to Editor View