Lorenzo Fontolan PhD Computational Neuroscience

Course and current status

2023-present Group Leader @ Inmed U1249. Team “Neural computation and dynamics”

2021-2023 Research Scientist. PI: Sandro Romani (Janelia Research Campus - HHMI, USA)

2015-2021 Post-doctoral fellow. PI: Sandro Romani (Janelia Research Campus - HHMI, USA)

2011-2015 PhD. in Neuroscience. Advisers: Boris Gutkin (ENS Paris, France), Annel-Lise Giraud (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Scientific summary

To foster survival in a dynamic world, animals must be able to quickly adapt their behavior in response to unpredictable environments. The nervous system has the ability to assign the appropriate responses to sensory stimuli according to its internal state (e.g. the subjective perception of time, emotional states) or an external context (e.g. environmental demands, social conventions). For example, when you are at the stadium attending a game and happen to see an old friend a few seats away, you will not hesitate to say “Hello!” with a loud greeting. Instead, if the fortuitous encounter happened at a library, the same greeting would be barely whispered so not to disturb readers.

The research goal of the Neural Computation and Dynamics lab is to understand the neural basis of flexible behavior by developing computational models of brain circuits. To study the synaptic and circuit mechanisms that underlie flexible behavior we employ theoretical and numerical techniques from dynamical systems, physics, and machine learning. We collaborate with experimental labs around the world to draw inspiration from their work and to test our models.

A Finkelstein*, L Fontolan* et al “Attractor dynamics gate cortical information flow during decision-making”, Nat Neurosci, 24 6 843–850 (2021) *Equal contributions

HK Inagaki, L Fontolan et al “Discrete attractor dynamics underlies persistent activity in the frontal cortex” Nature, 566 7743 212–217 (2019)

HK Inagaki, […], L Fontolan et al., “Neural algorithms and circuits for motor planning” Ann Rev Neurosci 45:1, 249-271 (2022)

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