Photo of Stanford student and Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant Rachana Mudipalli.
2020 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Karl Deisseroth, Bioengineering and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

“Characterizing Value-Encoding in Genetically Defined Cell Types in the Orbitofrontal Cortex”

Animal environments present a variety of stimuli with differing motivational values. Animals must evaluate these different stimuli and decide which to pursue. Prior studies have identified neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex whose firing rates correlate with the value of different stimuli offered to an animal. However, how these neurons map onto anatomically or genetically defined cell types remains unknown. Rachana seeks to analyze single cell neural activity data, recorded from mice responding to deferentially valued environmental stimuli, to characterize how value is represented in genetically defined cell types in the orbitofrontal cortex.