Marshall G. Hussain Shuler Lab

Marshall G Hussain Shuler                     
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Neural mechanisms of reinforcement learning

A fundamental task accomplished by the brain is the formation of adaptive behaviors in response to environmental stimuli. Brain reward systems are thought to mediate changes in synaptic efficacy underlying learning of appropriate behaviors by relating the outcome of behavior with preceding neural activity. Understanding the means by which such systems come to convey reward value, expectancy, quality, probability and utility, and the rules by which such activity is used to effect synaptic weight within brain networks to encode stimulus-action associations is the pursuit of the Hussain Shuler laboratory. 

             While it is commonly held that ‘higher-order’ brain regions are engaged to elaborate on the behavioral significance of sensory input, Dr. Hussain Shuler has demonstrated reward-timing activity within the primary visual cortex. Specifically, Dr. Hussain Shuler provided evidence that pairing visual stimuli with subsequent reward leads to the emergence of reward-timing activity in the primary visual cortex (V1). The properties of this activity suggest that it may be generated within V1 itself, motivating a research program to investigate the neural mechanisms of reward-based interval learning in V1. To investigate this central question, the Hussain Shuler lab uses an interdisciplinary approach combining multi-site recordings of neural activity, targeted pharmacological manipulation, viral-mediated gene transfer and behavior.

See also, Department of Neuroscience Hussain Shuler Lab webpage.

BREAKING LAB NEWS: We are pleased to announce our most recent publication:

2015 Marco A. HuertasMarshall G. Hussain Shuler, and Harel Z. Shouval

2015 Tanya M. Marton , Marshall G. Hussain Shuler , Paul F. Worley
Homer 1a and mGluR5 phosphorylation in reward-sensitive metaplasticity: A hypothesis of neuronal selection and bidirectional synaptic plasticity
Brain Research doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.06.037

2015 Zold, C. & Hussain Shuler, M.G. 
Journal of Neuroscience 35, 9603-9614 (2015).

2015 Levy, J., Namboodiri, V. & Hussain Shuler, M.G.
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience (2015). 

2015 Liu CH, Coleman JE, Davoudi H, Zhang K, Hussain Shuler MG 
Current Biology 25:1551-1561.

2015  Vijay Mohan K. Namboodiri, Marco A. Huertas, Kevin J. Monk, Harel Z. Shouval, and Marshall G Hussain Shuler
Neuron 86:319-330.

Other recent publications:
2014 Namboodiri, V., S. Mihalas, Hussain Shuler MG
A temporal basis for Weber’s law in value perception 
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 8(79).

2014 Namboodiri, V., S. Mihalas, Martin T, Hussain Shuler MG 
Time and Time Perception Reviews 1(4).

2014 Vijay Mohan K Namboodiri, Stefan Mihalas, Tanya M. Marton and Marshall G. Hussain Shuler
A general theory of intertemporal decision-making and the perception of time
Front. Behav. Neurosci. 8.