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  • Neural Circuits Controlling the Selection and Persistence of Visual Information

    Friday, December 14, 2018

    12:00 PM-1:30 PM

    Bossone Research Center, Room 709, located at 32nd and Market Streets.

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Graduate Students
    • Faculty
    • Staff

    BIOMED Special Seminar

    Neural Circuits Controlling the Selection and Persistence of Visual Information

    Tirin Moore, PhD
    Professor of Neurobiology
    School of Medicine
    Stanford University
    Neuroscience Research Investigator
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) 

    The processing of sensory input is influenced by a number of factors, such as arousal, stimulus saliency, and selective attention. These factors shape the processing of sensory information needed to guide adaptive behavior. This talk will discuss recent studies aimed at identifying the neural circuitry controlling the modulation and filtering of sensory information in the primate visual system, as well as its relation to mechanisms of other basic cognitive functions, such as working-memory.

    Dr. Moore’s laboratory studies the visual system and how sensory processing is integrated with executive control circuits within prefrontal cortex, using the macaque monkey as a model species. A major challenge of studying the integrative functions of the nervous system is to understand how complex mental operations emerge from the interaction of distributed sensory and motor representations. Much of Dr. Moore’s research is focused on that challenge. In particular, work in his laboratory seeks to identify the neural circuits and neural computations necessary and sufficient to carry out fundamental perceptual and cognitive functions. Early on in his time at Stanford, his lab discovered that selective visual attention, a basic cognitive function, could be causally linked to the neural mechanisms controlling gaze. More recently, his lab leveraged this discovery to address the role of prefrontal dopamine in cognitive dysfunctions (e. g. attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD). Specifically, his lab showed that dopamine neurotransmission within PFC regulates sensory processing within posterior cortical areas.

    Professor Moore received his PhD from Princeton University in 1995, where he was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow in the laboratory of Professor Charles G. Gross. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at M. I.T. in the laboratory of Professor Peter H. Schiller, where he studied the modulation of visual cortical signals during saccadic eye movements. He then moved back to Princeton as a research scientist where he began studying the neural mechanisms controlling visual selective attention. In 2003, he started his own laboratory at Stanford, where he is currently a Professor of Neurobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. Professor Moore has been a Sloan fellow, a Pew Scholar, a McKnight Scholar, and received a Career Award from the National Science Foundation. Before becoming an HHMI investigator, he was an HHMI Early Career Scientist. In 2009, he received a Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his work on visual attention. Professor Moore was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

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