Unit on Neural and Computational Behavior
Cortical sensory processing at the single neuron level: circuits, computations, and behavior
During any behavior, many thousands or millions of neurons in the brain change their activity. To understand how the brain controls behaviors, it is important to identify the computational steps required, and determine which neural circuits perform the computations. The goal of our lab is to understand the building blocks of computation in neural circuits using, as a model, sensory-guided behaviors in mice. In this system we can apply optical, genetic, and electrophysiological tools during behavior, and combine them with theoretical approaches for understanding circuits and networks. Determining the computational roles of neural circuits in sensory-guided behavior can shed light on neural control of more complex behaviors, and a mechanistic understanding of neural computation can provide rational treatment targets for deficits in mental disease. In the talk I will describe work on two computations and the neural circuitry underlying them: the role of recurrent connections in shaping input-output responses in the cortex, and the way neural responses to sensory stimuli are decoded, or turned into a decision suitable for motor response.
A pizza lunch will be served at 11:45am. The seminar will begin at 12:00pm.