Thursday 14 October 2021, 17:00

Jonathan Rubin

Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh


Title of the Talk: Network dynamics in the basal ganglia and possible implications for Parkinson’s disease

Abstract: The basal ganglia are a collection of brain areas that are connected by a variety of synaptic pathways and are a site of significant reward-related dopamine release. These properties suggest a possible role for the basal ganglia in action selection, guided by reinforcement learning.  In this talk, I will discuss a framework for how this function might be performed. I will also present some recent experimental results and theory that call for a re-evaluation of certain aspects of this framework. Next, I will turn to the changes in basal ganglia activity observed to occur with the dopamine depletion associated with Parkinson’s disease. I will discuss some of the potential functional implications of some of these changes and, if time permits, will conclude with some new results that focus on delta oscillations under dopamine depletion.

Host: Silvia Daun