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DTC Seminar Series

Decision-making and learning mechanisms in parietal cortex

by

Vasileios Christopoulos
Caltech

Friday, April 26, 2019
Reception 4:00 pm
Seminar 4:30 pm

101 Walter Library

Vasileios Christopoulos

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. I will discuss recent findings from our 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. I will also present results from clinical trials in patients with tetraplegia on how the brain builds internals models to compensate for uncertainty and how it learns to adapt to new situations. Finally, I 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 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 Caltech. He received a Bachelor and an M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece, in 2002 and 2003, respectively. He earned an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (minor in Cognitive Science) from the University of Minnesota in 2005 and 2010. Then, he moved to Caltech to work as a post-doctoral scholar at the Andersen’s lab. His 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

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