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CNCM Seminar: Dr. Edward Zagha
March 1, 2022 @ 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.Free
Neural mechanisms of target stimulus selection and distractor stimulus suppression
Join the UCI Center for Neural Circuit Mapping in a Hybrid (Virtual and In-Person) Seminar featuring Edward Zagha, MD, PhD from UC Riverside.
Those who wish to attend in person will receive details upon registration.
Goal-directed behavior requires the ability to respond to task-relevant target stimuli (selection) while inhibiting responses to extraneous distractor stimuli (suppression). To better understand the neural mechanisms underlying these processes, we trained mice in an operant whisker detection task in which they learned to respond to brief stimuli in one whisker field (target) and ignore identical stimuli in the opposite whisker field (distractor). We subsequently performed a range of neuronal recording and perturbation experiments in expert mice while they were performing this selective detection task. In this talk, I will present data from three studies related to the differential neural processing of target and distractor signals. First, I will demonstrate the robust attenuation of distractor-evoked responses downstream of primary somatosensory cortex (Aruljothi et al., 2020). Second, I will show that frontal cortex and dorsolateral striatum have highly similar task-related neuronal representations, and yet make drastically different functional contributions to target selection and distractor suppression. Third, I will provide evidence for a novel mechanism by which top-down signals from frontal cortex to sensory cortex contribute to target-distractor selectivity. Overall, these studies reveal cortical and subcortical mechanisms by which sensory signals are appropriately routed according to goal direction (Zagha 2020).