- Molecular Biology
- Computational Neuroscience
I'm generally intersted in the neural mechanisms of attention and decision making. I'm particularly interested in how the different parts of the brain compete with one another. For example, you want to check someone out on the train but you are warry of making eye contact - a conflict between curiosity and social rules. For smaller animals the conflict often lies between hunger driving them to forage for food and the fear of being eaten once leaving the safety of the burrow. How are these conflicts resolved in the brain? I'm currently pursuing these questions using awake-behaving multiple single neuron recording along with pharmacology in rodent models of decision making. The neurophysiology forms a foundation for modeling efforts: both low-level mechanistic neuronal models and behavioral level reinforcement learning models. In the future, I would like to develop parallel tasks in humans and use brain imaging (fMRI, EEG, or MEG) and manipulation (TMS) to do comparitive neurophysiology between humans and rodents.