Neural circuits underlying symbolic processing in primate cortex and basal ganglia.
The ONR MURI combines a team of researchers from Boston University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brown University. The MURI includes neurocomputational modeling and neurophysiological analysis of neural circuit mechanisms for symbolic processing in monkeys and humans in different tasks including: 1. Hierarchical rule learning involving location cues coding the application and reversal of rules based on associations between specific visual cues. 2. Hierarchical rule learning guided by cues regulating the focus on different dimensions of stimuli. 3. Tasks requiring responses based on temporal translation to make responses based on the time of individual stimuli. 4. Tasks involving application of rules in a variant of Raven’s progressive matrices. This research will be performed under the direction of Principal Investigator Prof. Michael Hasselmo who will oversee development of computational models of neural circuits involved in symbolic processing. Development of different models of symbolic processing will also be overseen by Prof. Marc Howard at Boston University and by consultant Prof. Chris Eliasmith. Modeling predictions will be tested in experiments using multiple single-neuron recording and field potential recording in monkeys in the lab of Prof. Earl Miller in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, predictions of these models will be tested in neuroimaging experiments in the laboratories of Prof. David Badre in the Department of Psychology at Brown University and Prof. Chantal Stern in the Center for Systems Neuroscience at Boston University.
Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative: N00014-16-1-283
NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant
Principal Investigator Chantal Stern
The NSF MRI proposal is for the purchase of a Siemens 3T MAGNETOM Prisma MRI scanner for human structural and functional neuroimaging research in the Cognitive Neuroimaging Center (CNC) in the new Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering. Development of the research facilities within the Kilachand Center, and more specifically the CNC, will provide Boston University neuroscience researchers with state-of-the-art facilities as a shared, core facility for research, with the goal of developing an understanding of brain function that bridges across multiple scales – from the cellular level, to the systems level, to the level of human cognition and behavior. Our aim is to understand cognition and behavior in terms of understanding the underlying brain networks, the neural circuits within these brain systems, and the cellular and molecular components of these circuits. To reach this goal will require multidisciplinary interaction between scientists developing and using cutting-edge research experimental methodology with advanced computational techniques, including advanced neuroimaging technology. BU researchers have developed strong collaborations, allowing us to bridge the gap from animal to human level research. The PI and senior investigators have publications and a proven track record of multidisciplinary collaborations that cut across traditional boundaries and allow for integration of data across levels. The acquisition of a Siemens 3T MAGNETOM Prisma MRI system and its placement within a multidisciplinary center will foster neuroscience research that does not adhere to the traditional human/animal divide, allowing us to develop models that link the understanding of neural circuits to cognition and behavior.
NSF EAGER grant
Initiative for Physics and Mathematics of Neural Systems
The funded NSF EAGER grant provides funds to support pilot projects that involve interactions of Physicists and Mathematicians with Neuroscientists to develop new techniques for addressing questions in systems neuroscience. The pilot projects included projects involving Prof. Gene Stanley (Physics) and Prof. Doug Rosene (Anatomy and Neurobiology), Prof. Eric Kolaczyk (Mathematics and Statistics) and Prof. Rick Myers (Neurology), and Prof. Marc Howard (Psychological and Brain Sciences).