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Bohyun Gloria Choi Assistant Professor

Gloria Choi studies how the brain learns to recognize olfactory stimuli and associate them with appropriate behavioral responses. While for other senses, such as vision, touch, or hearing, stimulus features are organized on the surface of the primary sensory cortex in distinct spatial patterns, no such topological order is apparent for the sense of smell. Individual inputs to the cortex are dedicated to a specific odorant, but their projections into the piriform cortex appear topologically random. Choi uses rodent models to interrogate how the brain learns to recognize these seemingly arbitrary patterns of activity and give them behavioral significance. She plans to dissect brain circuits to understand how representations in the piriform cortex can drive downstream targets to produce learned behavioral responses and then to extend her approach to study social behavior, which in rodents is strongly affected by olfactory cues. Olfactory learning provides an opportunity to study more general questions about how the brain learns to categorize sensory stimuli and to associate them with complex rule-based behaviors. Such cognitive processes have been linked to the prefrontal cortex in humans and other species, and olfactory behavior in mice may offer a new and genetically tractable system for exploring these issues.

Choi received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and her PhD from Caltech, where she studied with David Anderson, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Before coming to MIT, she was a postdoctoral research scientist in the laboratory of Richard Axel at Columbia University.

CONTACT INFORMATION

t: 617-324-7333 Room: 46--5023C

IN THE NEWS

CONTACT INFORMATION

t: 617-324-7333 Room: 46--5023C