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Jeremy Cohen

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PhD, Neuroscience, Drexel Col of Med
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Previous Experience

My postdoctoral work, under the supervision of Dr. Albert Lee at Janelia Research Campus - HHMI, was focused on studying the intracellular and network level phenomena underlying declarative memory formation in the mammalian hippocampus. The experiments involved in vivo intracellular and multi-site extracellular electrophysiological recordings of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in awake, behaving rats and mice. Interestingly, not only is the rodent brain engaged during spatial memory tasks in real environments, but also in virtual reality environments. Motivated by this finding, we developed a head-fixed spatial navigation system for rodents (1), wherein the subjects explore virtual environments during recording. This project provided new insights into the sub-threshold membrane potential dynamics of CA1 neurons underlying spatial navigation and novel memory formation (2).

My graduate doctoral work, under the supervision of Dr. Manual Castro-Alamancos at Drexel College of Medicine, focused on the neural circuits underlying successful performance of a learned sensorimotor task – active avoidance of fear (1). Using pharmacological reversible and irreversible lesions, we took advantage of the rodent vibrissa system to probe the neural circuits required for successful avoidance behavior. Intriguingly, we found that two alternative ascending sensory pathways, one to the superior colliculus (trigeminotectal) and one to the thalamus (trigeminothalamic), were alone able to detect the sensory whisker stimulus necessary for successful avoidance behavior (2). To gain further insight into the mechanisms of signal detection and active avoidance, we utilized intracellular, single, and multi-unit electrophysiology to further study the somatosensory responses of neurons in the superior colliculus of anesthetized (3) and awake behaving (4-5) rats. This project provided new insights into the neural circuits required for successful signal detection and performance of a somatosensory-based active avoidance behavior.

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Society for Neuroscience