Pieter Golstein

Pieter Goltstein, postdoctoral researcher (Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence in Munich, Germany) will give a talk on Wednesday, January 10th, 11:30 (UCL conf room).

This talk will be dealing with "Neuronal representations of learned categories in mouse visual and higher cortical areas".

Category learning is the fundamental cognitive process by which we classify and rapidly generalize learned and novel information. But how are the higher-level sensory associations of learned categories represented in the brain? In this talk I will present how I approach this question by investigating the neuronal circuits and computations underlying learned visual categorization in mice. First, I will demonstrate that mice can indeed learn visual categories and show how the neuronal representation of a learned visual category in the mouse prefrontal cortex emerges over time. Subsequently, I will show how we traced the effects of visual associative learning back to higher visual area POR and identify a possible mechanism by which sensory neurons can acquire category selectivity. In the last part, I will present an approach for investigating how neuronal connectivity is established with learning, which I aim to employ for studying the role of long-range connectivity in establishing category representations.

Pieter is a postdoctoral researcher working with Mark Hübener and Tobias Bonhoeffer at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence in Munich. During his postdoc, he developed paradigms for studying category learning in mice, with the goal to investigate neuronal mechanisms of semantic memory. During his academic training, he obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in cognitive psychology and a PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam, investigating effects of learning and behavioral state on primary visual cortex.