2nd CiNet Monthly Seminar : Bill Newsome, “Monitoring covert cognitive processes via neural population dynamics in frontal cortex”

CiNet Monthly Seminar

December 5, 2016
16:30 ~ 17:30
CiNet 1F Conference Room

“Monitoring covert cognitive processes via neural population dynamics in frontal cortex”

Bill Newsome
Professor, Neurobiology
Stanford University

Host : Kaoru Amano (PI)

The neural mechanisms underlying decision-making are typically examined by statistical analysis of large numbers of trials from sequentially recorded single neurons.  Averaging across sequential recordings, however, obscures important aspects of decision-making such as ‘changes of mind’ (CoM) that occur at variable times on different trials.  I will show that the covert decision variables (DV) can be tracked dynamically on single behavioral trials via simultaneous recording of large neural populations in prefrontal cortex. Vacillations of the neural DV, in turn, identify candidate CoM in monkeys, and show that they closely match the known properties of human CoM. Thus simultaneous population recordings can provide insight into transient, internal cognitive states that are otherwise undetectable.

About CiNet’s Friday Lunch Seminars:
The Friday Lunch Seminar is CiNet’s main regular meeting series, held every week at 12.15 in the beautiful main lecture theatre on the ground floor at CiNet. The talks are typically 40mins long and orientated towards an inter-disciplinary audience. They are informal, social, and most people bring their own lunch to eat during the talk. They are open to anyone who is feeling curious and wants to come, regardless of where you work.