New Perspective Article – Rapid Sensory Adaptation Redux: A Circuit Perspective

F1_Infographic_vsubmitIn this Perspective, Whitmire and Stanley build links between rapid sensory adaptation at multiple scales of neural circuitry through investigations of differential adaptation effects across brain structures, cell types, and functional classes of neurons.
Abstract: Adaptation is fundamental to life. All organisms adapt over timescales that span from evolution to generations and lifetimes to moment-by-moment interactions. The nervous system is particularly adept at rapidly adapting to change, and this in fact may be one of its fundamental principles of organization and function.  Rapid forms of sensory adaptation have been well-documented across all sensory modalities in a wide range of organisms, yet we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the adaptive cellular mechanisms that ultimately give rise to the corresponding percepts due in part to the complexity of the circuitry.  In this Perspective, we aim to build links between adaptation at multiple scales of neural circuitry by investigating the differential adaptation across brain regions and sub-regions and across specific cell-types, for which the explosion of modern tools has just begun to enable.  This investigation points to a set of challenges for the field to link functional observations to adaptive properties of the neural circuit that ultimately underlie percepts.

High School Student Richard Carnegie Does Summer Internship

img_6311Richard Carnegie, now a junior in high school, reached out to our laboratory last spring when he became interested in neuro-engineering. While working with us in the summer of 2016, he learned to design parts and build them with a 3-D printer, design and conduct his own experiments using equipment from Backyard Brains, and writing his own data analysis code in Python. Our lab thinks his future looks bright and are looking forward to seeing him work with us more in the future.

Peter Borden awarded NRSA Fellowship

PeterCongratulations! Neural Encoding Laboratory member Peter Young Borden was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship  (F-31) for two years of funding! His project titled Thalamic Control of Cortical Sensory Processing During Active Sensing  will explore how neural system alter during states of self-motion. In particular, this work will investigate how the thalamo-cortical sensory circuit changes during active sensing in rodents using cutting edges techniques. He will continue his training under the guidance of Dr. Garrett Stanley at Georgia Tech on his path to becoming an independent researcher.

Clarissa Whitmire Awarded the 2016 Stuart Zola Graduate Fellowship in Neuroscience

Clarissa Whitmire, a PhD candidate in the Georgia Tech/Emory Biomedical Engineering program, has been awarded the 2016 Stuart Zola Graduate Fellowship in Neuroscience. This fellowship, administered by the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, was founded in honor of Dr Stuart Zola, previous director of the Yerkes National Primate Center from 2001 until 2014. As part of this fellowship,Clarissa will be invited to speak at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center Symposium this Fall and will receive funding to promote her professional development.

CEISMC Math Outreach Event

In conjunction with CEISMC Math and Science Partnership (MSP) the Stanley lab hosted several groups of middle school and high school teachers for a hands on math and science demonstration. The goal of the MSP event was to tie math to real world applications, giving the teachers tools they need to inspire students. The lessons fused on demonstrating neural activity in muscles using EMG recording. Teachers were given the opportunity to try on EMG electrodes and record their muscle activity during a variety of tasks. They focused on experimental design and reducing variability between subjects. The data was then graphed and trends were pulled out of them showing how math is actively used in scientific settings.

The Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) (pronounced like “seismic”) is a partnership uniting the Georgia Institute of Technology with educational groups, schools, corporations, and opinion leaders throughout the state of Georgia. www.ceismc.gatech.edu

 

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