Graduate Training in Neuroscience
University of Washington
Sheri J.Y. Mizumori
Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology
The general goal of this lab is to understand neurobiological mechanisms of plasticity as it relates to learning and memory. We have been studying spatial navigation by rats as a model behavior for understanding how multiple neural systems contribute to complex learning. Adaptive navigation involves the coordination of many processes. Our studies have examined 1) the nature of the sensory input during navigation (e.g. Mizumori & Williams, 1993; Cooper et al., 1998), 2) the integration of current sensory information with past knowledge about an environment (e.g. see Mizumori et al., 1999a,b), and 3) the behavioral implementation of highly processed spatial information (e.g. Mizumori et al., 1999, in press). More recently, we have been considering these processes in terms of the flexibility of underlying neural representational systems during shifts in cognitive strategy or task demands. Other studies have evaluated spatial performance and properties of neural representational systems of aged and brain-damaged animals (e.g. Mizumori et al., 1995, 1996). The majority of our experiments involve recording single unit extracellular activity during behavioral performance.