Photo of smiling male undergraduate student Kellen Vu.
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: undeclared
Mentor: Jennifer Raymond (Neurobiology)

“Adaptive Tuning of the Oculomotor Integrator Dynamics in Mice”

The central function of neural circuits is to perform computations, using the dynamics of large, recurrently connected populations of neurons. Kellen’s project aims to use the oculomotor system as a model for how these computations are adaptively modified by experience to improve the performance of the systems involved. To do so, he is implementing a behavioral training protocol in mice to artificially “tune” the oculomotor integrator. His specific aims are: (1) to optimize and rigorously document the training procedures for inducing adaptive tuning of the oculomotor integrator, and (2) to test how the integrator depends on the cerebellum by optogenetically inhibiting Purkinje cells in mice.