Electrocorticography of human prefrontal cortex during value-based decision-making

Project Details


Project summary/abstract I am seeking a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health as part of my goal to become an independent investigator studying the neurobiological basis of human decision-making behavior. Candidate The current application proposes to bring together two sets of skills that I acquired in sequential and independent fashion: during my PhD I acquired a strong training in electrophysiology, and my postdoctoral career in the labs of Dr. Read Montague and Dr. Ming Hsu has focused on human cognition and decision-making behavior. The goal of this K01 is to bring these approaches together and acquire further training in advanced electrophysiological analysis methods adequate to the study of human neurosurgical recordings. Environment The career development goals in this proposal are geared towards training in the clinical and advanced methodological aspects of electrocorticographic (ECoG) intracranial recordings in human patients, and to develop the combination of these with decision- making tasks and models. My main mentor, Dr. Robert Knight, will provide guidance and training for the ECoG portion of the training; co-mentor Dr. Ming Hsu will offer additional training in behavioral decision-making tasks and computational models. The mentorship team will oversee progress in the proposed research and guide career development through formal meetings, research oversight, and practical training, including job search mentoring. A network of clinical collaborators will provide clinical training and continued access to ECoG patients, extending into the independent portion of the award: Dr. Edward Chang (UCSF), Dr. Joseph Parvizi (Stanford) and Dr. Jack Lin (UC Irvine). Finally, the proposal will further benefit from support from other UC Berkeley faculty members (Dr. Jose Carmena, Dr. Richard Ivry, Dr.Tom Griffiths and Dr.Don Moore) with interests and expertise close to various aspects of the proposal. Research The research proposal focuses on studying the electrophysiological and oscillatory bases of risky reward-oriented decision-making. Specifically, I will record from patients with extensive prefrontal cortex ECoG coverage (tens to hundreds of electrodes in lateral PFC and orbitofrontal cortex) while they carry out a decision-making task, to test the hypotheses that oscillatory mechanisms reflect local valuation and integrative processes in decision- making. Decision-making is disturbed in numerous psychiatric disorders including addiction and major depressive and psychotic disorders. As such, a deeper understanding of the cortical mechanisms supporting this behavior has the promise to shed new light in a host of disorders relevant to the mission of the NIMH. My background puts me in a unique position to develop this exciting line of research, which I plan to make the core of my independent research career.
Effective start/end date1/08/1631/07/21




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