Neuroscience BS, MS (Brandeis U.)
Distributed minor in neuroscience
I am extremely interested in the role of prediction in decision-making. Theory suggests that sequential neural firing in the hippocampus may inform place-reward associations made in the basal ganglia and ultimately, future decisions.
I am researching age-dependent and pathological changes in electrophysiological sleep patterns. It has been shown in rats that the same hippocampal place cell sequences during behavior are replayed in subsequent sleep periods, pre-played during preceding sleep periods and moreover, correlate strongly with sleep ripples, short high-frequency neural oscillations found in the hippocampus. These ripples are thought to help send memories from the hippocampus to the cortex for long-term storage and correlate strongly with sleep spindles, long low-frequency cortical oscillations. Given the relationship between memory impairments and sleep disruptions, I am exploring how electrophysiological sleep patterns change in aged rats as well as the LRRK2 transgenic mouse model for Parkinson's Disease.