Revealing how value is translated into action with simultaneous single neuron and multi-area resolution

2019 Seed Grant
Eric Yttri, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

Without movements, we are relegated to being trapped inside ourselves. Our understanding of the distributed brain circuits responsible for deciding what, how and why to perform movements has been limited by an inability to characterize how distributed networks of interlinked neurons orchestrate behavior. Recent advances have provided tantalizing glimpses into the spatial and temporal structure of the computations that local circuits perform. Unfortunately, these methods often lack the multi-scale, mutli-cell type, and temporal resolution necessary to discern the neural infrastructure of movement decisions. To address this problem, we propose to apply complimentary, novel approaches to establish how neurons across brain areas work together to create behavior, from the level of the single neuron to that of interconnected brain areas. By identified cell-types recording throughout all layers of motor cortex and striatum simultaneously, we are able to capture a detailed account of the evolving flow of information through the neural network. We will test our predictive model of motor decision mechanisms against these results, and in doing so, define a computational role for each cell type across the circuit.

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…