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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.

Our team

  • Armin Lak
    Armin Lak

    Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow

  • Peter Zatka-Haas
    Peter Zatka-Haas

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Systems Neuroscience

  • Lauren Strickland
    Lauren Strickland

    Research Assistant

Selected publications

Related research themes