Ballard's main research interest is in computational theories of the brain, with emphasis on human vision and motor control. He is the author of three books at the intersection of compuational neuroscience and artifical intelligence, Brain Computation as Hierarchical Abstraction (2015), An introduction to Natural Computation (1987), and Computer Vision (1982). His current research focuses on eye movements and planning during naturalistic tasks such as driving and making a sandwich. He has long been a proponent of neurons performing predictive coding, explaining extra-classical receptive field properties in these terms. His current focus is modeling multiplexing of several neural processes with gamma frequency spike latencies.
- The Brain and Computation, Spring 2018. Visiting Scientist.