A New Paradigm for the Neuroscience of Navigation

2020 Seed Grant
Anirvan S. Nandy, Ph.D.
Yale University

The Serota Family Seed Grant

How do social interactions dynamically shape the neural circuits of cognition? Maps of the physical and social environment (“cognitive maps”) in the brain have been theorized to be central to cognition. In highly social species like humans, cognitive computations frequently occur in social contexts. However, it remains unknown how social contexts shape cognitive maps, especially in the primate brain. This knowledge may ultimately provide unprecedented perspectives on cognitive disorders in the human brain. The overarching goal of our proposal is to create a foundational understanding of the impact of social context on cognitive maps, and to make the first direct observations revealing the specific neural patterns that drive social interactions in the hippocampal-entorhinal circuit in non-human primates. The outcome of these studies will for the first time reveal specific neural mechanisms in the brain that underlie social navigation, paving the elucidate relevant neural dysfunctions in cognitive disorders such as social anxiety autism spectrum.

Other Grants

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University
Uncovering a Novel Role for Primary Cilia in Eph/Ephrin Signaling in Neurons
2022 Seed GrantSarah C. Goetz, Ph.D. Duke University Women’s Council Seed Grant Primary cilia are tiny projections from cells that function like an antenna- they receive and may also send…
Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University
Circadian Regulation of Oligodendroglial Senescence and Metabolomics in Aging
2022 Seed GrantErin M. Gibson, Ph.D.Stanford University The brain consists of two main classes of cells, neurons and glia. Glia make-up more than half of the cells in the brain…
Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Dynamic Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity During Spatial Exploration
2022 Seed GrantYvette Fisher, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley The Virginia (Ginny) & Roger Carlson Seed Grant Cognitive flexibility is critical for appropriately adjusting thoughts and behaviors to meet changing demands…
Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Unique Vulnerability of Developing Human Cerebral Cortex to Loss of Centrosomal Protein
2022 Seed GrantByoung Il Bae, Ph.D.University of Connecticut Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Seed Grant The cerebral cortex is the largest and outermost part of the human brain. It is…