Systems Neuroscience Lab


Our research program aims to determine the neural basis for spatial cognition, decision-making, and episodic memory. Recent projects have focused primarily on examination of multiple single-unit recordings made in freely behaving animals. Our most recent work concerns recordings made in the parietal cortex, hippocampus, subiculum, and premotor cortex in rats performing either a multiple-T working memory task or executing traversals of differently shaped spiral paths. One new project will examine the activity patterns of basal forebrain neurons during performance of a task demanding dynamic allocation of attentional resources.

Databyte - Hippocampus

Databyte - Parietal Cortex

Databyte - Basal Forebrain

Center plot shows the color-mapped firing rate of 600 basal forebrain neurons categorized according to their times of peak activity across the stages of a selective attention task. Surrounding plots show the color-mapped firing rates of individual neurons across multiple trials, highlighting the reliability of task-phase specific activity and heterogeneity, across neurons, of such activity. Category 1 neurons responded to light stimuli. Category 4 neurons during movement to the attended light source. Category 15 neurons fire most during nosepoke at the light source. Category 17 neurons are reward responsive. The data suggest that the basal forebrain coordinates shifts in attention appropriate to each task phase.

Personnel (present)

Douglas Nitz - 'Most Excellent Neuroscientist'

July 2008 - present

Gidget - Lab Ambassador

July 2008 - present

Tangie - Lab Mascot

Spring 2014 - present

Andrew Alexander - Graduate Student

June 2009 - present
Andrew's CV

Laura "Bruiser" Shelley - Graduate Student

September 2012 - present

Jake Olson - Graduate Student

September 2013 - present

Alexander Johnson - Graduate Student

July 2016 - present

Alyssa Lundgren - Lab Technician

January 2014 - present

Kanyanat Tongprasearth - Research Assistant

December 2014 - present

Emily Tao - Research Assistant

December 2014 - present

Janet Tung - Research Assistant

August 2015 - present

Stacy Kim - Research Assistant

September 2015 - present

Scott Ragland - Research Assistant

September 2015 - present

Jong Park - Research Assistant

October 2015 - present

Hannah Lo - Research Assistant

November 2015 - present

Hannah Aguirre - Research Assistant

April 2016 - present

James Mata - Research Assistant

April 2016 - present

Sara Brooke - Research Assistant

May 2016 - present