Featured speaker: Kelsey Hallinen, Associate Research Scholar/CPBF Fellow
Abstract: Our lab works at the intersection of physics and neuroscience to study the organism C. elegans. C. elegans is a small nematode that is about 1 mm in length, has only 302 neurons, and is a great organism to study how neural signals drive behavior. I will talk about approaches to recording and analyzing worm neural signals and discuss my recent work to decode locomotion (velocity and body curvature) from the neural signals. We record from the majority of neurons in the head of the worm with a custom microscope. We use those neural signals, along with simultaneous behavior recordings, to develop a population decoder using linear ridge regression that predicts the animal’s velocity and curvature.
The EDI committee for undergraduate recruitment is organizing this summer research talk series aimed at undergraduates. The goal of this series is to have graduate students and post-docs give accessible talks about their research and how they got involved in their particular field. This is a great opportunity to get introduced to various research topics and to get familiar with different aspects of being a practicing physicist!