I am a computational neuroscientist. I use quantitative analytical methods and computer simulations to understand how neural circuits generate behavior. I am interested in how we make choices and, in particular, how sensory information is processed and channeled to guide the generation of motor actions.
My recent research has involved a close collaboration with Terry Stanford, also in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. We study how the neural activity in oculomotor areas (the frontal eye field, lateral intraparietal area and superior colliculus) determines the choice of where to look next — a choice we make about 15,000 times every hour. We use urgent decision-making tasks, in which a very limited amount of time is available to identify a visual target, to investigate how single neurons contribute to an individual's behavioral performance. The basis of our approach is a comparison between the time point at which a participant “knows” where the target is and the time point at which individual neurons start reflecting such knowledge. Our work has implications for understanding attention, working memory, impulsivity and other cognitive phenomena.