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Current Lab Members

photo of Neural Computation and Behavior Lab staff

Mark H. Histed, Ph.D.Mark H. Histed, Ph.D.

Our lab aims to understand how the cerebral cortex controls behavior – that is, how information is encoded in neural activity, and how this information is transformed by brain circuits to lead to decision and action. To do this we study mice performing visual perceptual behaviors. Mark received a PhD from MIT with Earl K Miller and did postdoctoral work with Clay Reid and John Maunsell at Harvard Medical School. He held a research faculty appointment at the University of Chicago before coming to NIH.

Bradley Akitake, Ph.D.Bradley Akitake, Ph.D. (Univ. of Maryland College Park, 2007)

Bradley joined the Histed lab as senior scientist in April of 2016. His previous research, conducted at the University of Maryland (graduate) and at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (postdoctoral), focused on characterizing the molecular sensors employed by animals to gather information about their external environments and the mechanisms by which sensory information is used to modulate behaviors. Bradley has investigated physiology and behavior of the fruit fly across many sensory systems but has particularly focused on machanotransduction related to kinesthetic sense (proprioception). In the Histed lab, Bradley will investigate how information encoded by the activity of peripheral sensory neurons is transformed and represented in the mammalian cortices.  The goal of his work is to better understand how multimodal sensory inputs combine in the brain to form distinct precepts guiding behavior. Outside of the lab Bradley is a technology geek and an avid tennis player.

Anna LiAnna Li, B.S. (Northeastern University, 2018)

Anna majored in behavioral neuroscience at Northeastern University, where she studied stress behavior and neuroanatomy in rats. In the Histed lab, she is using simultaneous two-photon imaging and stimulation to study computations in the visual cortex. Anna grew up in San Diego, CA, and likes to walk around the city, try new and weird foods, and pet other people’s dogs.

Kathryn BangserKathryn Bangser, B.S. (Union College, 2019)

Kathryn recently graduated from Union College as a Neuroscience major, where she worked with dragonflies to investigate the genetic mechanisms underlying neural development in insects. She joined the Histed lab in August of 2019 and is beginning to contribute to projects that investigate the roles of different brain regions in decoding visually guided behavioral tasks. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys hiking local trails, going to museums, and finding other new and exciting things to do in D.C.

Zhishanhg Zhou, Ph.D.Zhishanhg Zhou, Ph.D. (Shanghai Brain Research Institute, 2000)

Zhishang studied the somatic sensation of pain as his Ph.D. work in China. Using patch-clamp recording and confocal imaging, he investigated TTX-insensitive sodium channels and Substance P which play special roles in pain transmission and modulation. In 2000, he moved to the Neurobiology Department of Yale for his postdoctoral research in olfaction, studying information processing in the olfactory bulb using whole-cell recording and two-photon imaging. In 2004, he continued his research on the sense of smell in NIH with whole-cell, perforated and multi-channel recordings in in vitro, in vivo and awake free-running mice. He joined the Histed lab as a research scientist in January of 2019, studying visual information processing in the cortex and these information guided behaviors with multi-channel recording, two-photon and holographic imaging.

Victoria ScottVictoria Scott, B.S. (North Carolina Central University, 2014)

Victoria obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the North Carolina Central University in 2014. Before joining the Histed lab, she worked as a research specialist and lab manager at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University. During this time, Victoria focused on the genetics of susceptibility to virus infection that naturally-occur in inbred and genetically-manipulated mice. She also co-authored a manuscript entitled “A novel role for ceramide synthase 6 in mouse and human alcoholic steatosis.” In 2018, Victoria joined the Histed lab as a lab manager/research technician. Victoria is a proud Philadelphia native who enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending quality time with her family.

Paul LaFossePaul LaFosse, M.S. (George Mason University, 2019)

Paul graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 where he engaged with a broad range of computationally-focused research from particle to biological physics. Paul joined the Histed lab in 2017 as a Master’s student from George Mason University to investigate how cortical responses change to support improvements in behavior. Since receiving his MS, Paul remains in the lab as a Neuroscience PhD student at the University of Maryland College Park where he will continue to study questions relating to information processing and computation in sensory systems.

Yanting DengYanting Deng, Ph.D. (University at Buffalo, 2019)

Yanting works in both Histed’s and Hari Shroff’s labs. She invented the anisotropic terahertz microscopy to study the vibrational dynamics of proteins in her doctorate career. Yanting studies the neuron activities optically using MIMMS. She was born and grew up in Tianjin, China, which is the origin of Chinese crosstalk. In her leisure time, Yanting loves playing with her cat and she is a big fan of horror movies.

Jonathan O’RaweJonathan O’Rawe, Ph.D. (Stony Brook University, 2019)

Jonathan recently obtained his graduate degree from Stony Brook University studying functional connectivity in humans using fMRI, particularly in trying to understand what spatial distributions of functional relationships across the brain can tell us about brain organization. He then joined the Histed lab as a postdoctoral researcher in August of 2019. Jonathan’s primary interest is in understanding how network behavior can produce output and delineating how regionally specific network regimes can lead to specific computations, particularly in the context of visually guided behavior.

Hannah GoldbachHannah Goldbach, B.S. (American University, 2018)

Hannah graduated from American University with a BS in Neuroscience. There she contributed to research involving the mPFC’s role in motivation and reward. Since joining the Histed lab, she has enjoyed studying how different cortical and subcortical areas contribute to visually-guided behavior. Like any good Wisconsin native, Hannah loves cheese, soft-serve ice cream, and the Brewers.