Jorge Jaramillo

Dr. Jorge Jaramillo

Since Jan 2021: Group Leader Distributed Neural Dynamics and Control Lab, European Neuroscience Institute, Goettingen

2015-2020: Postdoctoral Associate: Xiao-Jing Wang’s Computational Laboratory for Cortical Dynamics Center for Neural Science, New York University, USA

2014: PhD in Biology, Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin

2009-2014: Doctoral Student: Richard Kempter Lab, Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

2009: Erasmus Mundus MSc in Applied Physics and Nanotechnology, Applied Quantum Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden

2008-2009: Master Thesis: Göran Johansson’s Applied Quantum Physics Lab, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden

Talk title: Subcortical-cortical interactions for cognitive computations

Understanding the role of multiple cortical and subcortical circuits in cognitive processes is a current challenge for Systems Neuroscience. To address this, I design and implement computational models that connect large-scale neural circuitry to electrophysiology and behavior. In the first part of my talk, I will present a circuit model to understand the shared and unique roles of frontal and parietal cortices in a variety of cognitive tasks. I found that structural differences between these cortical areas map onto complementary dynamical regimes that subserve working memory and decision-making computations. Next, I consider the primate pulvinar, which is the largest part of the visual thalamus and is reciprocally connected to multiple visual and association cortical areas. I put forward a framework of pulvino-cortical interactions to clarify the pulvinar’s involvement in attention, confidence, and communication. Finally, I introduce a computational framework to analyze subcortical-cortical interactions during motor planning, constrained by multisite recordings in the mouse. I propose that subcortical inputs to the thalamus selectively gate cortical ‘dynamical modes’ relevant for movement. Overall, the modeling results support the existence of general computational principles underlying distributed and large-scale interactions in the brain.

About Dr. Jorge Jaramillo:

Computational models for cognitive functions have largely focused on the cortex and have thus overlooked important contributions from subcortical structures such as the thalamus, basal ganglia, and hippocampus. The Distributed Neural Dynamics and Control lab investigates how these subcortical structures interact with cortical circuits to subserve cognitive processes including memory, the ability to store and manipulate information in the absence of sensory input and in decision making, the process of selecting a course of action among multiple alternatives. We use tools from dynamical systems and control theory to simulate and analyze how distributed neural dynamics arise from multiregional neural circuits and how these dynamics are controlled for purposeful behavior. Moreover, we study the network and behavioral effects of exogenous neuromodulation of subcortical structures (e.g., as used in DBS) to discover new avenues for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.