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Megan Carey and Rui Costa join Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control

  1. 18.6.2020

    The Simons Foundation awarded scientists from Emory University and their collaborators $2.5 million to develop new tools to study how the brain controls behaviour in vertebrates. Named the Simons-Emory International Consortium on Motor Control, the project brings together eight research groups from three countries that use cutting-edge techniques to explore connections between the firing of neurons and the movement of muscles. Their work spans a range of behaviours in an array of species, from songbirds and monkeys to rats and mice.

    At Champalimaud, the Neural Circuits & Behaviour lab, headed by Megan Carey, and the Neurobiology of Action lab, headed by Rui Costa, are two of the eight research groups selected to participate in this consortium.

    Megan Carey and Rui Costa
    Megan Carey and Rui Costa.

    The consortium will kick off with a virtual symposium on Friday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT. Eight neuroscientists will each give a 10-minute talk about a not-yet-invented tool they wish they had today to transform the field. The speakers will include Chethan Pandarinath and Lena Ting (both from Emory and Georgia Tech), Amy Bastian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Rui Costa (Columbia University), Amy Orsborn (University of Washington), Andrew Pruszynski (Western University) and Philip Sabes (from the University of California San Francisco and Neuralink). The talks will stream live on YouTube, and registrants from around the world can ask questions in real-time via an online chat feature.

    The symposium’s theme reflects the ambitious goals of the consortium. “Often in neuroscience, labs are working on one species in relative isolation,” says Samuel Sober, co-director of the new consortium and an Emory associate professor of biology. “Our consortium is unique because our members are investigating not just different species but different motor skills, from how songbirds vocalize to how monkeys move their arms. And we’re working together to develop new methods and apply them to a really wide range of problems.”

    *This text was adapted from the original press release.

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