Covering the Land of Lincoln

James Hinman gives September 7 Frontiers lecture – Miniature Brain Machinery

James Hinman, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Illinois, will lecture on “Neural basis of cognitive maps in multiple reference frames” at 4:00 pm in 2269 Beckman Institute and on Zoom September 7, 2022. William Baker, MBM trainee and PhD candidate in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, will give an introduction.

The lecture is free and open to the public courtesy of the Miniature Brain Machinery Program. Zoom details are below.

Abstract:

All animals navigate to goals, often to find food or safety. Given the evolutionary importance of goal directed navigation, it is not surprising that numerous brain circuits represent spatial information. The hippocampal formation maintains a world-centered, or allocentric, representation of the world and is utilized for plotting goal-directed routes. Cortico-striatal circuits represent spatial information in an egocentric reference frame, one centered on the agent.

An interesting computational problem arises as information must be transformed between allocentric and egocentric reference frames in order for you to act on that information, a transformation that your brain is constantly performing with great ease. I’ll discuss my work on the neural basis of spatial representations and several new directions that our research is moving.

Bio:

dr Jake Hinman earned a PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2012, having worked with Dr. James Chrobak in studying the coordination of theta oscillations across the longitudinal axis of the hippocampus. dr Hinman then went on to a postdoctoral fellowship mentored by Dr. Michael Hasselmo at Boston University from 2012-2019, where his work focused on addressing questions raised by computational models of spatial representation. He coined the term egocentric boundary cell to describe a novel, functional class of neurons he first discovered in the dorsal medial striatum that had been predicted by computational models over ten years prior. In 2019, dr. Hinman joined the faculty at UIUC in the Psychology Department.

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