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Chen Institute Director's Seminar

Monday, February 24, 2020
4:00pm to 6:30pm
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Chen Institute Director's Seminar

Speaker: Anne Churchland, Associate Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Title: "Movements, decisions, and wholistic behavior"

Abstract: When experts are immersed in a task, do their brains prioritize task-related activity? Most efforts to understand neural activity during well-learned tasks focus on cognitive computations and task-related movements. We wondered whether task-performing animals explore a broader movement landscape, and how this impacts neural activity. We characterized movements using video and other sensors and measured neural activity using widefield and two-photon imaging. Cortex-wide activity was dominated by movements, especially uninstructed movements not required for the task. This held true throughout task-learning and for extracellular Neuropixels recordings that included subcortical areas. Our observations argue that animals execute expert decisions while performing richly varied, uninstructed movements that profoundly shape neural activity.

A Chen Social will follow the seminar.

For more information, please contact Chen Institute by phone at 626-395-8903 or by email at [email protected].