Headshot portrait of John Wen - Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Fellow
Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2019
Home Department: Neurosciences
Faculty Advisors: Thomas Clandinin (Neurobiology) and Lisa Giocomo (Neurobiology)

Research Title: Bridging the Computational Gap Between Vision and Navigation

Research Description: Many species use environmental boundaries to navigate effectively. However, how different organisms extract border information from visual features and subsequently use that information to guide behavior is unclear. John proposes recording the neural activity of mice and flies as they encounter visually-defined borders in virtual reality environments. Recent technical advances have allowed for the simultaneous recording of hundreds of neurons in both species, making it possible to reveal the computations underlying border extraction from visual scenes. The use of these two species will provide a unique opportunity to reveal common principles underlying visually-guided navigation, thus bringing more understanding to how the brain and program neural circuits that affect our behavior.