Karel Svoboda, Donders lecture: ‘Neural circuits underlying short-term memory and decision-making’

Karel Svoboda, Ph.D.

Senior Group Leader

Janelia Research Campus

Howard Hughes Medical Institute


On September 27, 2019 Karel Svoboda will visit Nijmegen to give a Donders Lecture entitled ‘Neural circuits underlying short-term memory and decision-making’. Karel Svoboda is a neuroscientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus and senior group leader of the Svoboda Lab.

His lecture might be of great interest for your Neurology/ Neuroscience researchers as well.

Abstract: Our goal is to uncover the principles by which cortical circuits perform fundamental computations, from perception to action. Cortex is parcellated into areas with distinct function and local circuits. Cortical areas associate into mesoscale circuits with other cortical and subcortical areas via long-range connections. Information is represented by action potentials in widely distributed ensembles of neurons. What are the mechanisms shaping these neural representations, and how do the representations drive behavior? We address both questions in behaving mice in the context of motor planning and short-term memory.

Motor planning plays key roles in motor control. Movements that are preceded by periods of motor planning are faster and more accurate than in the absence of planning. Motor planning is also a prospective form of short-term memory that links past events and future movements. During motor planning, neurons in motor cortex show persistent activity related to specific movements, long before movement onset, in the absence of sensory input. I will present our studies on how multi-regional neural circuits maintain this selective persistent activity and how this activity relates to behavior.

The Donders Lecture will be followed by a reception. Registration is not required.

Friday, September 27 2019, 16.00-17.00

Location:      Elinor Ostrom building (Radboud University), room N01.630, Heyendaalseweg 141, Nijmegen

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