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News and Announcements
New Grant Awarded to Connor Lab
The Connor lab was recently awarded a new 4-year NIH R01 research grant from the National Eye Institute. The grant, titled “Shape Learning: Computational Changes in Chronically Studied Neural Populations,” is a collaborative project with David Leopold of the National Institute of Mental Health. The Connor and Leopold labs will work jointly to investigate neural mechanisms of visual shape discrimination using long-term, chronic recordings from large ensembles of neurons in high-order visual cortex.
Somatosensory Lab publishes in Neuron
A research article from the Somatosensory Lab of MBI appeared in the journal Neuron. This work revealed that neurons in all subdivisions of primary somatosensory cortex encode cutaneous and proprioceptive stimuli. This study highlights distinct neural mechanisms of multimodal processing in the somatosensory system.
Vernon B. Mountcastle 1918-2015
(photo credit Johns Hopkins Medicine)
The Krieger Mind/Brain Institute mourns the loss of one of the giants in neuroscience research. Vernon Mountcastle, long-time faculty member of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was a founding member and a driving force behind the creation of the Mind/Brain Institute, as well as a valued mentor to many current and former scientists at the institute.
MBI Research Appears in PLoS Biology
A research article from the Hsiao and Niebur labs of MBI appeared in the journal PLoS Biology. This study demonstrated that spike synchrony and firing rates of neurons in somatosensory cortex increased when an animal paid attention to features for which the neurons were tuned. This work highlights similar coding principles between somatosensory cortex and visual cortex.
Gomez-Ramirez M, Trzcinski NK, Mihalas S, Niebur E, Hsiao SS (2014) Temporal Correlation Mechanisms and Their Role in Feature Selection: A Single-
Unit Study in Primate Somatosensory Cortex. PLoS Biol 12(11): e1002004. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002004
Congratulations to Jonathan Williford, Ph.D.
Jonathan Williford, a graduate student in the Neuroscience program, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation from Rudiger von der Heydt’s lab and presented his thesis seminar on November 5, 2014. His seminar was titled “Neural Basis of Perceptual Organization of Natural Scenes: Emergence of Object-Based Coding in the Primate Visual Cortex.” Congratulations, Jonathan!
MBI Researcher Ernst Niebur mentioned in New Yorker
The pioneering ideas of MBI theoretical neuroscientist Ernst Niebur on the neural mechanisms of attention were credited in a recent article in New Yorker magazine about the work of MIT’s Bob Desimone. See the article at http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/anatomy-attention
MBI Research Featured on Cover of Neuron
A research article from the Connor Laboratory of MBI appeared in the journal Neuron. This work reported the existence of separate brain regions in the inferior temporal cortex that contained neurons that were selectively tuned for abstract images resembling small objects vs. large-scale landscapes.
Siavash Vaziri, Eric T. Carlson, Zhihong Wang, Charles E. Connor (2014). A Channel for 3D Environmental Shape in Anterior Inferotemporal Cortex. Neuron 84:55-62.
See also the Johns Hopkins HUB article on the research: http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/09/18/3d-shape-processing
If you would like to submit remembrances of Steve (words and/or photos) to be posted to a memorial web page please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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