Churchland lab members present 5 posters at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting

December 3, 2013

I blogged repeatedly during the recent Society for Neuroscience Meeting about posters and presentations from other labs. This was great fun as there was a lot of terrific science presented. However, this post will take a different angle: I’ll highlight what my lab presented at the meeting.

David Raposo, John Sheppard and Matt Kaufman:

Data baseball card

Data baseball card

The three posters collectively made the point that our use of multisensory stimuli exposed an unexpected computational strategy for neurons in the posterior parietal cortex. Despite the fact that the 3 posters made this point together, they were stationed in separate sessions! Undaunted by this problem, the guys manufactured “data baseball cards” (see right) that briefly outlined each poster. Each presenter could hand out the baseball cards of the other presenter as needed; for example, if a poster attendee wondered about an issue that was presented in a different session. Although we designed the cards to ease the burden of connected posters in different sessions, they became a huge hit! The guys’ collections were depleted almost immediately- if you want one, maybe they will turn up for auction on eBay??

Onyekachi Odoemene: Kachi’s poster described some work that is at an early stage but is very exciting. He has been working on developing decision-making behavior in mice. His poster described early efforts to determine which structures are required for these decisions. Keep a look out for Kachi next year: we joke in the lab that whenever we think of an innovative idea, it turns out Kachi already thought of it, built the apparatus to test it, and has the data in a power point presentation.

Amanda Brown: Amanda presented work alongside Ingmar Kanitschneider, a postdoc in Alex Pouget’s lab with whom we have an ongoing collaboration. Their poster described human behavioral data about a new version of our multisensory decision task. In this version, the stimulus is configured so that subjects must make a multisensory estimate of the number of events (as opposed to the rate of those events, which is what animals do in our usual task). Their poster was very busy so they got to spread the word about their new view of probabilistic number representation.

We finished the meeting off with anentertaining lab dinner at a local restaurant. We were joined by some outside collaborators, and some internal collaborators as well, including Ashlan Reid.


All in all the meeting was a big success. Lab members got the word out about a bunch of new observations we have made, and returned to Cold Spring Harbor overflowing with ideas for new experiments and analyses. These new directions will keep us busy- stay tuned for more updates in the coming months.

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