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Karel Svoboda, PhD
The Cortical Circuits and Neural Codes Underlying Tactile Sensation — POSTPONED
Group Leader in Neural Optical Imaging, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Virginia
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
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. The goal of Dr. Svoboda’s laboratory is to understand the principles that organize neocortical circuits and to decipher how they process information and guide behavior. His team focuses on the neural circuits that underlie whisker-dependent somatosensation. Mice use their whiskers to recognize and localize objects. Quantitative psychophysical methods allow the research team to track the motor strategies and sensory inputs underlying whisker-based object localization. At the same time, the scientists record from and manipulate specific neuronal populations within mapped cortical circuits to discover causal relationships between neural activity and behavior. Dr. Svoboda will present recent data on how neurons in the somatosensory and motor cortex code for object location and how these representations are transformed during learning.