Prediction and learning in the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway
Gabriel received a B.S. in neuroscience from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. in neurobiology & behavior from Columbia University. As a graduate student in Michael Shadlen’s laboratory, Gabriel made important contributions to our understanding of how the brain forms and commits to a decision. Most notably, he discovered a threshold mechanism in the primate superior colliculus that terminates an ongoing decision and generates the relevant action. Gabriel’s postdoctoral research with Drs. Mehrdad Jazayeri and Pawan Sinha investigates the neural mechanisms that allow us to predict the timing of incoming sensory information and adapt to changes in the environment.
The ability to predict future events based on experience is fundamental to cognitive processing. A successful prediction reduces uncertainty and improves the precision of behavior. An erroneous prediction informs us how to adjust our behavior and future predictions. In the motor system, the cerebellum plays a critical role in predictive processing by forming an internal model that predicts the sensory consequences of actions. An influential hypothesis is that it plays a similar role in cognitive function. Intriguingly, ASD is associated with a range of cerebellar abnormalities and individuals with ASD display differences in predictive processing. Whether these two observations are connected is unclear. My project uses large-scale electrophysiology and causal perturbations to shed light on (1) how the cerebellum contributes to an animal’s ability to use predictable stimuli in the environment to improve and adapt its timing behavior and (2) how the cerebellum influences processing in thalamocortical circuits. Such insights will be invaluable for understanding how cerebellar dysfunction contributes to ASD.
- Stine GM, Zylberberg A, Ditterich J, Shadlen MN. (2020). Differentiating between integration and non-integration strategies in perceptual decision making. eLife. 9:e55365.
- Steinemann NA*, Stine GM*, Trautmann EM, Zylberberg A, Wolpert DM, Shadlen MN. (2022). Direct observation of the neural computations underlying a single decision. bioRxiv.
- Trautmann EM, Hesse JK, Stine GM, et al., (2023). Large-scale brain-wide neural recording in nonhuman primates. bioRxiv.
- Stine GM, Trautmann EM, Jeurissen D, Shadlen MN. (2023). A neural mechanism for terminating decisions. Neuron.
Prediction, adaptation, cerebellum, non-human primates, neurophysiology