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Distributed coding of vision, action, and cognition in the mouse brain

Nick Steinmetz, University of Washington & International Brain Lab
Monday, October 24, 2022 - 12:00pm
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Understanding the way that perception and behavior arise from the coordinated activity of hundreds of millions of neurons in mammalian brains is a central challenge for neuroscience. Recent years have seen the development of new techniques for measuring neural activity at single-cell and single-spike resolution across the brain, including Neuropixels electrode arrays. In this talk I will describe our work to delineate the spatial organization of neurons that code for visual, motor, and abstract cognitive variables across dozens of brain regions. We find that these variables are strikingly more widely distributed than expected, an observation that has significant implications for our understanding of computation in neural systems. 



Nick Steinmetz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington in Seattle and a member of the International Brain Lab. His lab focuses on understanding the neural circuits and systems that underlie perception and cognition across the brain. He approaches these problems with a combination of large-scale electrophysiology, calcium imaging across neocortical areas, and systematic optogenetic manipulations, all in combination with sophisticated behavioral tasks for mice. His lab also has a focus on developing new tools for studying the brain at scale, including collaborating on developing the Neuropixels probes. Prior to starting his own lab, he completed postdoctoral work with Kenneth Harris and Matteo Carandini at University College London and a Ph.D. in Neurosciences at Stanford University with Tirin Moore and Kwabena Boahen. His work has been recognized with a Pew Biomedical Scholars award, a Klingenstein-SImons Fellowship in Neuroscience, and an NSF CAREER award. 

The A3D3 Seminar is a monthly lecture series that hosts scholars working across applied areas of artificial intelligence, such as hardware algorithm co-development, high energy physics, multi-messenger astrophysics,  and neuroscience. Our presenters come from all four domain fields and include occasional external speakers beyond the A3D3 science areas, governmental agencies and industry. The seminar will be recorded and published in YouTube. To receive future event update, subscribe here.