Posts classified under: Predoctoral Trainees

Karina Keus

As a member of the UCLA Miniscope Project, my research entails designing and implementing novel, open-source tools to increase accessibility in science. My thesis project in the Aharoni Lab involves developing a combined calcium imaging-electrophysiological recording platform to track neural representations of spatial location over unprecedented time scales. This platform enables in-depth analysis of the role of different sleep states in memory consolidation across the full circadian cycle.

Mentor: Daniel Aharoni, Ph.D.

Samuel Vander Dussen

Sam is a 2nd year Masters student in the Dept. of Bioengineering at UCLA, transitioning to the Ph.D. program. He previously attended Azusa Pacific University where he played collegiate football and received a B.S. in Systems Engineering in 2019. His current research focuses on the system design of  a synchronous behavioral and functional ultrasound imaging platform to acquire information about functional network connectivity changes after traumatic brain injury. His research interests include computational neuroscience, machine learning, and graph theory to understand plasticity and working memory in the whole brain.

Mentor: Neil Harris, Ph.D.

Myra Saraí Larson

I’m interested in how the brain processes reward in both direct and vicarious experiences, and in particular, how these processes may alter one’s neural representations of the environment. My research approach will incorporate recordings of human intracranial activity and physiological markers of arousal as participants either ambulate freely or remain stationary during immersive augmented reality experiences.

Mentor: Nanthia Suthana, Ph.D.

Douglas Vormstein-Schneider

I study the differential contribution of cell-types in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex to the brain’s encoding of task-relevant information during adaptive decision-making. By comparing neural activity from mice with recordings from humans during a similar task, I hope to gain insight into the roles discrete neuron types play during cognitive tasks in humans.

Mentor: Peyman Golshani, M.D., Ph.D.