My research at a glance

I would like to think of any cognitive problem in a decision making framework. This involves appropriate sensory representation, perception, evaluation of choices, choice selection and execution. I believe that this rich dynamics at every brain region for their specialized input-output associations can be appreciated only by laying down the theoretical principles of their functioning. And perhaps, this dynamics is an effect of functional connectome and neurotransmittor / modulator activity. 

My PhD work on understanding the roles of dopamine and serotonin for the basal ganglia dynamics helped me appreciate the principle of reinforcement learning in the brain. The concepts of value, uncertainty and utility might be ruling all regions of brain, except that the space of functioning might be totally different across regions. Deriving principles by a clever combination of high and low dimensional data, along with their functional annotation primarily caused due to their input-output specificity, and deriving their computational dynamics is a challenge to any neuroscientist. Such principles of serotonin and dopamine functioning in the cortico-basal ganglia loops helped us tract their roles in wide variety of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

I am currently working with single unit electrophysiology in macaques, and dealing with spike data from reward regions. I look forward to creating a direct link between principles for reward regions derived from low dimensional data and the prima facie response of neuron- the spike. I believe that analyzing population neural spike activity closely relates to agreeing with principles from multi-scale modeling; and I use dimensionality reduction + dynamical systems framework for single unit analysis. This interlace across multi-scale models is of incessant use for invasive / non-invase treatment of any clinical problem. Some specific cognitive problems in my wish-cart for better therapeutics include Parkinson's Disease, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Depression, addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder.

My project in hand focuses on comparative analysis of response inhibition and stop processes with neuroeconomic choice making. We look forward to understand and analyse the effect of rewards in stopping and vice versa, and mine the shared principles between them.

I also build simple dynamical models to understand the single unit data on set-shifting and reward comparison. 


Subpages (1): PhDthesis