Speaker of Workshop 1
Will talk about: Large-scale spatio-temporal patterns in motor cortex involved in motor control
Nicholas G. “Nicho” Hatsopoulos, Ph.D. is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago. Dr. Hatsopoulos is also Chairman of the Computational Neuroscience graduate program. He is currently running a laboratory with three graduate students, four postdoctoral fellows, and several technicians which is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. From January 1998 to December 2001, Dr. Hatsopoulos was an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University. Dr. Hatsopoulos completed two postdoctoral research fellowships, one in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University and the other in the Computational Neuroscience Program at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Hatsopoulos completed his B.A. in Physics from Williams College in 1984, his M.S. in Psychology in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 1992.In 2001, he co-founded a company, Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, which took the basic scientific research he and his colleagues conducted to develop neural prosthesis technology to assist people with severe motor disabilities. His research focuses on the neural basis of motor control and learning. He is investigating what features of motor behavior are encoded and how this information is represented in the collective activity of neuronal ensembles in the motor cortex. He is also interested in how these representations change as motor learning occurs. To answer these questions, the electrical discharge of many motor cortical neurons is simultaneously recorded using multi-electrode arrays and correlated with motor behavior. The encoding properties of individual motor cortical neurons are being studied to determine how these single cell properties relate to higher-order representations involving groups of neurons. The possibility that changes in functional connectivity among neurons may occur during motor learning is also being explored.Dr. Hatsopoulos has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, book chapters, and a book, and has given over 70 invited lectures and scientific presentations.
We have previously documented that motor cortical oscillations in the beta frequency range (~20 Hz) as measured by local field potential recordings propagate as travelling waves across the surface of the primary motor cortex along a rostral-to-caudal axis while monkeys perform a variety of visuo-motor tasks including simple reaching tasks and more complex reach-to-grasp tasks. We demonstrate here that simultaneously recorded neurons in non-human primates coordinate their spiking activity in a sequential manner that mirrors the dominant wave propagation directions of the local field potentials. We are beginning to test the hypothesis that this pattern of propagation may serve to sequentially recruit neurons representing different limb segments in a coordinated fashion.