March 14, 2013
Dr. Karel Svoboda of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will deliver the 2013 Phillip A. Sharp Lecture in Neural Circuits.
Title: "The cortical circuits and neural codes underlying tactile sensation"
Speaker: Dr. Karel Svoboda
Affiliation: Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Date: Thursday March 14, 2013
Time: 4:00 pm (reception following lecture)
Location: MIT Bldg 46-3002
Sponsored by: Biogen Idec
The cerebral cortex is the largest part of the mammalian brain and plays roles in most flexible behaviors. Neocortical circuits are remarkably similar across functional areas and species. Our goal is to understand the principles that organize neocortical circuits and to decipher how they process information and guide behavior.
We focus on the neural circuits that underlie somatosensation. Mice use their whiskers to recognize and localize objects. Quantitative psychophysical methods allow us to decipher the motor strategies and sensory inputs underlying whisker-based object localization. At the same time we record from and manipulate specific neuronal populations within mapped cortical circuits to discover causal relationships between neural activity and behavior. I will present recent data on how neurons in the somatosensory and motor cortex code for object location and how these representations are modulated by expectation.