Research


I work in the Siapas lab at Caltech

In the brain, one can observe large-scale oscillations, which come from the combined activity of millions of individual neurons. What causes an individual neuron to synchronize with these oscillations, and what effect do the oscillations have on the activity of a single neuron? I study the hippocampus, where one can find a large-scale oscillation at 4-10 Hz called the theta-rhythm. Different neurons fire at different phases of this theta rhythm, and there is a remarkable effect called phase precession where the firing phase of neurons changes in a predictable way as a rat moves through space.

I'm using mathematical tools from dynamical systems theory as well as numerical simulations to try to understand why neurons in the hippocampus fire when they do.

Below is a depiction of what I do in the more general scheme of things. "Low level" refers to the realm of individual neurons (though you can go all the way down to molecules) while high-level refers to the realm of behavior and intelligence.