This event has been postponed indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances. A new date for the seminar will be announced later in the year.
Our research encompasses understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie our sense of spatial orientation and our abilities to navigate. Animals require two types of fundamental information for accurate navigation: location and directional heading. Our studies have focused on understanding our sense of direction, and in particular, a population of limbic system neurons, referred to as ‘head direction (HD) cells’, which discharge as a function of the animal’s directional heading. My talk will focus on what is the spatial reference frame used by head direction cells when an animal is moving in three dimensions? I will present data showing how the head direction signal is important for forming a flexible representation of space in the brain (cognitive map) and some new findings showing how head direction cells respond when an animal travels different routes in 3-D space in order to reach the same point. If head direction cell properties are commutative (i.e., 2 + 3 = 3 + 2), then the route traveled should not matter. Finally, I will discuss our findings in relation to the vestibular system and the implications it has for human perception of 3-D space.
B.G.S. – University of Michigan, 1974
Ph.D. – University of Washington, 1986; Physiology & Psychology
Post-doc – SUNY Downstate Health Science Center, NY, 1988
Post-doc – University of California, Irvine, 1990
Faculty – Dartmouth College, NH, 1990-2019
No need to book, just turn up!