Education: PhD (University of Guelph) 2013 – 2016
MSc (University of Guelph) 2011 – 2013
BAh (Western Unversity) 2007 – 2011
Description of Research Projects:
I am interested in the neurobiology of complex decision making, and how neural circuitry in the prefrontal cortex can contribute. To study complex decision, I utilize newly developed touchscreen operant chamber tasks that measure phenomenon such as metacognitive decision making, gambling behaviour, and probabilistic reasoning.
My work has led me into two branches of work, my first branch is studying the interaction between structures such as the anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex interact during difficult decisions. In this work, I use tasks measuring metacognitive decision making to identify measures of perceived subjective difficulty of the task.
My second branch of work is studying the role of interneuron populations in producing complex decision-making behaviour. In particular, I study the role of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons, and how these neural populations can modulate the decision process. I use a variety of tasks including decision making tasks, attention tasks, and discrimination tasks.
In order to study the phenomenon of decision making, I utilize several advanced neurotechnologies. To study the activity of brain regions and subpopulations of neurons, I use fluorescent biosensors to measure the population level activity of neural populations with fibre photometry. To study the causal role of these neural populations, I utilize optogenetic techniques to rapidly modulate neural populations. Finally, in order to better quantify the behaviour we observe, I utilize advances in neural network technology to deploy automated video tracking.