Kathleen Esfahany

Kathleen  Esfahany
Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Mark Harnett
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Areas of Research: Brain and Cognitive Science
Years: 2022-2023
Research Project Title:

Dendritic Computation in Mouse Cortex

abstract:Neurons are the fundamental unit of our nervous systems. Much of human information processing is attributed to computations performed through interactions between neurons. Meanwhile, the contribution of single neurons and subcellular components of neurons (such as dendrites) in neural computation has been under-investigated. Past research suggests that dendrites possess mechanisms enabling basic computations and may play an important role in neural computation at the subcellular level. We aim to use recordings of cortical neurons in awake, behaving mice to further investigate the role of dendrites in neural computation, especially with respect to how dendritic computation may enable other theories of neural computation, such as predictive coding.

Through my SuperUROP project, I hope to deepen my affinity and aptitude for computational neuroscience research. My coursework and research experiences have helped me identify my passion for using quantitative approaches to understanding the brain. I am excited to spend this academic year furthering this passion by researching dendritic computation and to have the opportunity to share my research with the SuperUROP community.