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The Distribution and Origin of Spatial Coding across the Brain

Objective

This project will investigate the distribution and origin of spatial coding by recording from large populations of neurons across the brain, using next-generation electrodes developed by the host laboratory. Spatial navigation is a goal-directed task that animals perform daily, and its signals engage a variety of brain systems beyond classical navigational centers such as the hippocampus. I have three aims: (1) to characterize the distribution of spatial signals across the mouse brain, with a focus on sensory regions; (2) to understand how spatial signals interact with sensory signals; (3) to establish whether the spatial signals originate in the hippocampus. The experiments will be performed in mice that navigate virtual environments and will involve next-generation Neuropixels 2.0 probes, capable of recording from hundreds of neurons at a time. First, I will record activity from large populations of neurons across multiple brain regions during virtual navigation and define the interaction of sensory and spatial signals in sensory cortex. Then I will test whether the hippocampus is necessary for spatial coding in visual cortex by manipulating its activity with chemogenetics in transgenic mice. These experiments will provide the first large-scale view of spatial coding across the mouse brain, characterizing the distribution of spatial signals, their computational role, and their causal origin.

I will perform these experiments in the Cortical Processing Laboratory at University College London, led by Professors Matteo Carandini and Kenneth Harris. I am confident I can further develop my skills as an independent researcher while answering exciting scientific questions. Professors Carandini and Harris are experts in conducting large-scale neuronal recordings in mice performing complex behavioral tasks as well as analytical techniques to process large data sets. I am experienced in systems neuroscience techniques and studying goal-directed behavior in mice.

Call for proposal

H2020-MSCA-IF-2020
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 212 933,76