The Neural Population Imaging Group focuses on understanding the principles underlying neuronal activity during decision making and object perception in behaving rodents.
The goal of our research is to understand how rodents use their vision to make decisions during free behavior and the underlying principles of the neural circuits involved in this process. Motivation underlies the performance of self-determined behavior and is fundamental to decision making, especially with regard to seeking food, mates, and avoiding peril. As many decision making based behaviors in rodents involve a combination of head movements, vestibular driven eye movements, vestibular driven cortical activity and active sensing of the environment to guide their behavior, studying the freely moving animal is of great advantage. The network imaging group focuses on recording activity from neural circuits activated during decision making in the freely moving rodent. To achieve this aim we have taken a multidisciplinary approach that has centered around using and developing Opens internal link in current multiphoton imaging techniques
, eye and head tracking techniques, computational approaches, and behavioral paradigms to record from Opens internal link in current neuronal populations
in the trained and freely moving animal. What this has afforded is measuring spatiotemporal organization of activity from populations of neurons during decision making in the freely moving animal, and the precise behavioral strategies that underlie this behavior.