Circuit Mechanisms of Learning and Decision Making
Our goal is to gain a quantitative circuit-level understanding of neuronal mechanisms that subserve learning and decision-making. To achieve this we combine neurobiological, behavioural, and computational tools.
Our group is interested in how the brain learns to make efficient decisions in uncertain situations, in particular how the brain integrates sensory signals with internal reward and motivational signals for guiding decisions. We focus on understanding the roles that frontostriatal circuits play during decision-making, and how neuromodulators, in particular the dopamine system, shape learning and decision-making under uncertainty.
We investigate these questions at two levels: at the levels of large populations of neurons, as well as at the level of genetically- and anatomically-defined neuronal circuits. To do so, our group employs a multi-disciplinary approach including high-count electrophysiology (Neuropixels probes), cell type-specific calcium imaging, optogenetic manipulations, highly-controlled behavioural tasks in mice, and computational modelling of behavioural and neuronal data.
Join the Lak Lab
If you are interested in pursuing novel and demanding projects using cutting-edge technologies in a collaborative environment please get in touch. Previous experience with either calcium imaging, electrophysiology or computational tools are desirable. Please send a CV, a brief statement of your research interests, and contact information of 2-3 people who are familiar with your research background and skills to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students interested in joining the lab for a Ph.D. should apply to one of the relevant doctoral programme at Oxford University, including:
Doctoral Programme in Neuroscience (1+3)
Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics DPhil
Interdisciplinary Bioscience Partnership
Please send an email to email@example.com for further details.
MSc & Undergraduate students
Students interested in joining the lab for a MSc degree can apply to MSc in Neuroscience programme at Oxford University.
We also accept applications from undergraduate students at Oxford as well as MSc students enrolled outside Oxford who wish to perform their dissertation project in the lab. Please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.