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Joshua t

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HHMI is a science philanthropy whose mission is to advance basic biomedical research Joshua t science education for the benefit of humanity. HHMI empowers exceptional scientists and students to pursue fundamental questions in basic science.

Joshua Dudman is interested in understanding how the brain associates sensory input and motor output during the selection and performance of reinforced actions. His lab uses electrophysiological, imaging, and computational Joshua t to explore sensorimotor integration in the striatum both in vitro and in awake, behaving rodents.

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His long-term goal is to link computations in these circuits to the acquisition of reinforced behaviors. A function of the nervous system is to produce adaptive behaviors. The selection of a particular behavior results from attaching value to actions, events, and stimuli based on their associated outcomes. Our goal is to shed light on the contribution of small neural circuits, as well as the individual neurons that compose them, to this critical Joshua t of selecting context-appropriate volitional actions.

We Joshua t to provide insights into underlying biological dysfunctions, such as those found in pathological disruptions of volitional action in Parkinson's disease and addiction. We begin with the hypothesis that the unique biophysical properties of individual neurons endow circuits in the brain with distinct computational Joshua t.

To understand the function of a defined neural circuit it is essential to understand not only the synaptic input and output arrangements but also the integrative properties of neurons at each point in the circuit. As a graduate student in Steven Siegelbaum's lab HHMI, Columbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsI used electrophysiological, computational, and imaging techniques to study the role of compartmentalized dendritic integration in the induction of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

These studies, as well as Joshua t others, have revealed a vast repertoire of mechanisms employed by individual neurons to regulate the strength of synaptic inputs and thus determine the properties of the circuits in which they are embedded. We found, for example, that the deletion of a specific subtype of Joshua t channel removed a constraint on synaptic plasticity and enhanced spatial learning.

These data Joshua t evidence that the integrative properties of neurons can determine the function of neural Joshua t and, ultimately, behavior. In related work, I also characterized a form of synaptic plasticity in which induction is closely matched to the temporal dynamics imposed by the anatomy of the hippocampal circuit.

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The mechanism of induction for this form of plasticity revealed that distinct dendritic compartments interact via the Joshua t of biochemical and electrical signaling with precise timing dependence. These results suggest that cellular mechanisms of plasticity may be tuned to the functional properties of neural circuits, and thus may allow for the coordination of cellular-level plasticity and circuit-level computations.

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Although we characterized this form of plasticity in a single cell type, circuits throughout the brain have defined anatomical arrangements that impose temporal constraints on the propagation of Joshua t. This suggests that the tuning of cellular plasticity to circuit dynamics may be a general organizing principle in the nervous system.


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