My long-term research goal is to understand how a nervous system constructs a model of the world. How do brains learn about the structure of their environment? How do they encode this information in networks, and how is it used to control adaptive behaviour? To answer these fundamental questions, two major technical advances must occur:
- The development of virtual worlds in which the statistics and physics of the environment can be manipulated, providing experimental control over the model formed by an animal’s nervous system.
- The design and construction of novel devices for simultaneously recording from large populations of neurons throughout the brain of a behaving animal.
My research group strives to address both of these problems.