Anne K. Churchland, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Neuroscience
Institution
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Address
One Bungtown Road
City, State, Zip
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Phone
(206) 853-7536
E-mail
churchland[at]cshl.edu
Website
http://churchlandlab.cshl.edu
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2014

Research

My work aims to unravel how neurons in the brain support multi-sensory decision making. Decisions require an analysis of incoming information followed by a choice between a number of alternatives—a process that involves the integrated action of a variety of neurons throughout the brain. In my laboratory, animals are trained to judge whether an incoming stream of sensory information—auditory clicks or flashes of light—is faster or slower than a “standard” that they come to learn with experience. We will monitor the activity of neurons in two key brain regions as mice make these judgments, using neuroimaging, molecular genetics, animal behavior and computational analysis, to map out the circuits involved. Our goal is to determine how the responses of neural populations allow the animals to correctly judge the stimulus. This work will reveal how sensory data is encoded and interpreted in the brain, and could lend itself to the development of treatments for disorders in which processing and decision making are not properly integrated, such as autism and schizophrenia.