"Dopamine Specifies the Statistics of Spontaneous Behavior"
Jeffery Markowitz, Ph.D.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Tech and Emory University
*Lunch provided for in-person attendees
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Jeffery Markowitz, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. at Boston University and his bachelor’s at Johns Hopkins University. He joined the faculty at the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering in March 2022. His lab focuses on understanding how brain gives rise to action and his team seeks to understand this fundamental process in the lab using the mouse as a model organism.
Their primary approach is to perform 3D motion capture of a mouse as it freely explores a large arena using a variety of sensors – this is used to build a dense point cloud of the animal. Then, they use fully unsupervised probabilistic time-series models to segment the motion capture data into discrete behaviors, for instance running, rearing, grooming, or turning. At the same time, they read and write neural activity primarily using electrophysiology, functional imaging, and optogenetics.