Talk Abstract

The brain plans volitional movements before they are executed. Persistent and ramping activity in frontal cortex anticipates specific movements. This preparatory activity is the neural correlate of a motor plan that instructs future movements. Preparatory activity is distributed across multiple brain regions, but it is unclear which brain areas are involved and how this activity is mediated. My lab studies how neural circuits support preparatory activity and how preparatory activity triggers movement. I will discuss our progress in delineating a distributed motor planning circuit in the mouse.


Nuo Li is a faculty member in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. His research is focused on understanding how neural circuit dynamics in the brain give rise to behavior. Prior to joining Baylor, he received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked with Dr. Dora Angelaki on neural mechanisms of spatial perception. He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from MIT, where he worked with Dr. James DiCarlo on neural mechanisms of visual object recognition. He then joined Dr. Karel Svoboda’s lab at Janelia Research Campus, HHMI, as a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow, where he developed tools and methods to study the circuit mechanisms of decision-making in mice. He is a 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, a 2017 Searle Scholar, and a 2018 Pew Scholar.


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