Nuo Li, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Neuroscience
Institution
Baylor College of Medicine
Address
One Baylor Plaza, T632
City, State, Zip
Houston, TX 77030
Phone
(713) 798-4301
E-mail
nuoli@bcm.edu
Website
https://www.bcm.edu/research/labs/nuo-li
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2018

Research

The Li lab will investigate how multiple parts of the brain cooperate to guide decisions based on short-term memory. Deciding how to act appropriately to a stimulus—particularly one that occurred in the past—is a complex cognitive task that engages many areas of the brain. Whether these brain regions act simultaneously, feed information back and forth, or report to a central “node” to orchestrate their output is unknown. As a postdoctoral fellow, I identified a subregion of the brain that controls a mouse’s decision to make directional movements a second or two after a sensory instruction—a response that involves short-term memory, planning, and executing movement. Now, using a suite of cutting-edge techniques for monitoring and manipulating the activity of neurons in different parts of the brain, our lab will serially inactivate a number of different areas that are functionally coupled to the previously identified subregion and assess how these perturbations alter its activity—and affect the mouse’s decision-making abilities. By dissecting the neural circuits involved in such behavior, we could identify new targets for therapies that enhance cognitive processes or limit cognitive decline.

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