From momentary percepts to life-long memories, our interactions with the world around us are inherently contextual. We make behaviorally important inference from a sensory experience by integrating information around it, both in space and time. The inferences are also determined by our state of being: awake or sleeping, attentive or inattentive. For the brain, this translates to the process of integrating incoming sensory information with: a) additional available sensory information, and b) its internal state and/or the animal's behavioral state. What are the computational principles and mechanisms underlying this integration? Jadi will discuss her recent research that elucidates these mechanisms at the level of both individual neurons and networks of neurons. Emerging from her work is a picture of inter-neuronal interactions that serve distinct contextual integration functions in single neurons and networks, suggesting multi-level repercussions of breakdown of these interactions in disease. She will also discuss future directions that will probe the mechanisms of contextual processing by the neuromodulatory system in the brain. 

 

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