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Decision-making and Learning Mechanisms in Parietal Cortex

Monday, January 28, 2019

12:00 PM-1:30 PM

BIOMED Special Seminar

Decision-making and Learning Mechanisms in Parietal Cortex

Vasileios Christopoulos, PhD
Research Faculty
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
Director of Neurotechnology
Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Although a significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms underpinning decision-making and learning, there is no a strong consensus on how the brain selects between actions and adapts to new conditions.

Dr. Christopoulos will discuss recent findings from his team's lab showing that decision-making does not exclusively evolve within the frontal lobe. Instead, it includes brain areas that have been traditionally associated with planning actions. He will also present results from clinical trials on how the brain builds internals models to compensate for uncertainty and how it learns to adapt to new situations.

Finally, Dr. Christopoulos will present a novel technique that we are currently developing at Caltech for imaging brain activity using functional ultrasound, with more than an order of magnitude improved spatiotemporal resolution compared to fMRI (<100µm and <10ms).

Vasileios Christopoulos, PhD, is a Research Faculty at the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering and a Director of Neurotechnology at the Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He received a Bachelor and an MS in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece, in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Dr. Christopoulos also earned an MS and a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering (minor in Cognitive Science) from the University of Minnesota in 2005 and 2010, respectively. He then moved to Caltech to work as a post-doctoral scholar at the Andersen Lab.

Dr. Christopoulos' research interests focus on understanding the neural bases of higher cognitive functions and developing brain machine interface systems helping people with severe paralysis to communicate again with the external environment.

Contact Information

Ken Barbee

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