Biology Colloquium Speaker-Dr. Dominique Pritched

For your attention:

Today’s Biology Colloquium starts at 11:10 AM. Please use the following link to join.

The talk, titled Circuit mechanisms for associative learning in the cerebellum will be given by  Dr. Dominique Pritched from Howard University.

See below for Dr. Pritched’s abstract:

 

The cerebellum is primarily known for its role in motor control. Through classical Pavlovian behaviors, like eyeblink conditioning, it has been established that associative learning is the primary mechanism for coordinating learned movements in the cerebellar circuit. Recent evidence has implicated the cerebellum in cognitive function and social behaviors, linking its involvement in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. However, current models of cerebellar associative learning poorly explain its potential role in cognition. The cerebellum exhibits simple connectivity with repeating architecture throughout, perhaps suggesting a single computation, or a so-called “Universal Transform Function” (UTF). One suggested hypothesis is “sensory prediction” is a general UTF of cerebellar circuit computations, and may explain its role in cognition. The primary goal of my lab is to 1) elucidate the circuit mechanisms for sensory prediction using associative learning behaviors in rodents, 2) explore sensory prediction in motor learning behaviors in humans to assess how the cognitive load contributes to the rate of learning, and 3) develop novel behavioral and methodological approaches to address the role of cognition in rodent models of motor learning, thereby bridging the gap in our mechanistic understanding of the cerebellar UTF and how it contributes to cognition.

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