Dr Atilgan will pursue a 4-year research project entitled “The role of claustrum in value-based decision-making” in DPAG's Packer and Lak groups under the sponsorship of Dr Adam Packer and Dr Armin Lak. She will also work in collaboration with Professor Kenji Doya from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST).
Dr Atilgan will additionally be mentored by Associate Professor Alex Kwan from Yale School of Medicine and Professor Daeyeol Lee from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr Atilgan had previously worked with Professor Kwan in his lab at Yale University, where she awarded the Kavli Postdoctoral Fellowship to explore the neural mechanism of value-based decision-making in the medial frontal cortex.
Since joining DPAG in November 2020, she has focused on the functional role of the claustrum, which she now expands upon with her new Wellcome-funded Fellowship:
Value-based decision-making is a complex cognitive ability that requires determining the value of the possibilities that the environment presents, and acting to obtain those with more value. Despite the fact that many brain regions have been implicated in the different aspects of this process, the claustrum, a region with extensive cortical-cortical connectivity to many of these regions, has not been studied in this framework yet. This Fellowship is an exciting opportunity to explore the role of claustrum in value-based decision-making. - Dr Atilgan
More information about Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships can be found on the Wellcome Trust website.