Distributed Neural Dynamics and Control

Computational models for cognitive functions have largely focused on the cortex and have thus overlooked important contributions from subcortical structures such as the thalamus, basal ganglia, and hippocampus. The Distributed Neural Dynamics and Control lab investigates how these subcortical structures interact with cortical circuits to subserve cognitive processes including memory, the ability to store and manipulate information in the absence of sensory input and in decision making, the process of selecting a course of action among multiple alternatives. We use tools from dynamical systems and control theory to simulate and analyze how distributed neural dynamics arise from multiregional neural circuits and how these dynamics are controlled for purposeful behavior. Moreover, we study the network and behavioral effects of exogenous neuromodulation of subcortical structures (e.g., as used in DBS) to discover new avenues for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Selected recent publications:

Jaramillo J, Mejias JF, and Wang X.-J (2019). “Engagement of feedforward and feedback pulvino-cortical pathways in cognitive computations” Neuron 2019 101:321–336.e9.

Murray JDM#, Jaramillo J#, and Wang X.-J (2017). “Working memory and decision making in a fronto-parietal circuit model. Journal of Neuroscience” 2017, 0343-17 (#equal contribution)

Jaramillo J and Kempter R (2017). “Phase precession: a neural code underlying episodic memory?” Current Opinion in Neurobiology. Volume 43, April 2017, Pages 130-138

Jaramillo J, Schmidt R, Kempter R (2014). “Modeling inheritance of phase precession in the hippocampal formation”. Journal of Neuroscience 2014, 34 (22) 7715-7731