Some of the most recent news.
Research paper published in PNAS Research paper published in PNAS How people make decisions has been unclear. Economists and psychologists have proposed models that each have their strengths and weaknesses. This paper turns the economic and psychological theories face to face, and identifies the law of diminishing returns as their critical link. July 24, 2017
K99/R00 award from the NIH K99/R00 award from the NIH Brain sciences have been longing for spatially precise and non-invasive approaches to neural intervention. Using this grant, we will develop transcranial focused ultrasound to enable causal mapping of brain function and to provide a targeted yet non-invasive treatment modality. We will use these approaches to diagnose and treat neural circuits involved in eating and movement disorders. Come join us. April 1, 2017
Have a good 2017! Have a good 2017! This year we'll finally get the smart robots and flying cars. December 31, 2016
Society for Neuroscience annual meeting Society for Neuroscience annual meeting In San Diego, I presented data of our upcoming article that shows that ultrasound can open mechanosensitive ion channels in a freely behaving animal. November 15, 2016
Mechanism of ultrasound-mediated cellular excitability Mechanism of ultrasound-mediated cellular excitability Low-intensity focused ultrasound has emerged as new way of stimulating specific regions of the brain non-invasively through the skull of animals and humans. In comparison to other non-invasive alternatives such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial electrical stimulation, ultrasound propagates deep into the brain and at the same time can be well focused. However, it is not known how ultrasound stimulates neurons. Knowing this is critical in figuring out what stimulus parameters we should use to maximize stimulation. In this paper, I show that ultrasound directly modulates currents flowing through ion channels that are readily present in the brain, heart, and other tissues. This finding presents a safe, exciting new way of eliciting cellular excitation remotely and even through the skull. My on-going work in animal models is confirming that ultrasound acts on neurons by modulating the activity of ion channels through its mechanical mode of action. March 22, 2016
Have a good time in 2016! Have a good time in 2016! This year holds something quite special. January 1, 2016
Research paper accepted in Cerebral Cortex Research paper accepted in Cerebral Cortex Choices are governed by the size of the obtained reward. This paper demonstrates the effect of the reward size on behavior and on the activity of neurons in parietal cortex. The paper identifies a strong, novel neural effect of the reward size. October 22, 2015
Research paper in the news Research paper in the news http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150506120525.htm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11590236/Stick-better-than-carrot-for-motivating-students-and-staff.html
http://www.welt.de/gesundheit/psychologie/article141017492/Aus-Bestrafungen-lernen-Menschen-deutlich-schneller.html
(Be careful about extrapolating the findings!)
May 6, 2015
Research paper accepted for publication in Cognition Research paper accepted for publication in Cognition Reward and punishment constitute Nature's arsenal in guiding behavior. Whether the effects of reward and punishment are symmetric or qualitatively distinct has not been clear. We found evidence for a profound difference between these two behavioral factors. March 7, 2015
Research paper accepted for publication in PNAS Research paper accepted for publication in PNAS Lesions in parietal cortex often lead to hemi-spatial neglect, deficit of spatial perception and action-planning. Parietal cortex has been implicated in both, but to which extent has been widely debated. We lesioned specific parietal circuits and observed deficits of choices made using specific actions. The parietal lesions thus highlight an action-planning role of parietal cortex in regard to which object in space to interact with. February 18, 2015
Research paper accepted for publication in The Journal of Neuroscience Research paper accepted for publication in The Journal of Neuroscience Many studies claim that neurons in parietal cortex encodes the reward associated with choice options. We found that the encoding of reward depends on the action using which a choice is to be made. This neural architecture may prove useful when humans or animals must make fast and accurate value-based decisions such as where to turn, where to look, or which item to reach for. January 26, 2015
Have a fabulous 2015! Have a fabulous 2015! The coming year will be phenomenal in many ways. December 31, 2014
Attended the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting Attended the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting This time in DC. Always lots of fun and great people - come next year if you haven't. November 13, 2014
Research paper accepted for publication in Neuroinformatics Research paper accepted for publication in Neuroinformatics I wrote a new tool called NeuralAct. NeuralAct allows researchers to visualize cortical activity acquired using ECoG, EEG, MEG, or DOT on a 3D model of the cortex. The tool has been used to produce cortical activation images and image sequences in several recent studies using ECoG. The package is thoroughly documented and includes a demo. You can download it from this site under Software. October 19, 2014
Presented parietal lesion data at the annual Cosyne meeting Presented parietal lesion data at the annual Cosyne meeting February 27 to March 4 in Salt Lake City, UT. People with lesions in parietal cortex often suffer from hemi-spatial neglect, a dramatic impairment of spatial awareness and processing. I performed reversible lesions in specific parietal regions to shed a focused light on this impairment. February 27, 2014
Attended the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting Attended the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting November 9-13 in San Diego, CA. November 8, 2013
Research paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurophysiology Research paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Neurophysiology Reaching for things is relatively costly and requires certain thought compared to looking at things. In support of this observation, we found that when there are multiple things to look at, neurons in the oculomotor system make the choice where to look very rapidly. In a striking contrast, neurons in the somatomotor system implement the choice much more carefully. August 16, 2013
Received a grant from the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience Received a grant from the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience This grant allows me to study the effects of ultrasound on biological tissue, with the main aim to develop a tool to control cellular activity using ultrasound. June 23, 2013
Research paper accepted for publication in NeuroImage Research paper accepted for publication in NeuroImage The building stones of the neural correlates of decision-making have been laid using recordings in monkeys. This paper, along with a few others recently published, shows that signals that underlie a decision can be spotted also in humans, using non-invasive EEG recordings. June 19, 2013
Research paper accepted for publication in PLOS ONE Research paper accepted for publication in PLOS ONE People who used early models of cochlear implants were able to understand speech surprisingly well using just temporal information in speech, the so called speech envelope. We implanted electrodes onto the human brain, which allowed us to observe how the speech envelope is tracked by the instantaneous neuronal activity across several regions of the auditory system while the people listened to a spoken story. November 29, 2012