Aleena Garner

Aleena Garner, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology

Three main, current projects in the lab are unified under a broader consideration:
We have a narrative of our lives. We know who we are or we know that we must experience more and contemplate harder to know who we are. We know from where we came. This concept of ourselves makes it possible for us to decide what to do next. Go for a bike ride because the sound of nature feels rejuvenating, take that new job because working with undermining people is exhausting and exciting opportunities await elsewhere, spend some well deserved quality time with good friends. We decide what situations to put ourselves into and we interpret what we see and hear in these situations using the conscious and unconscious knowledge we've gained throughout our lives.

The brain is fundamentally composed of the same components as yogurt.. carbon, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen. Yet the brain does something that yogurt does not do. The brain makes memories from experience interacting with the world around it and decides what it will do with its future given the expectations it has about that future and how it will 'feel' as a result. The person in whom the brain resides is aware of some of these memories, expectations, and feelings and unaware of others. This ability keeps us safe. It is why we stop ourselves from entering a crosswalk in the street when we hear the sound of a siren drawing nearer. It is also why we have prejudice. We already believe something about the information that enters our brain from the eyes and ears instead of neutrally observing.

The goal of research in the Garner lab is to understand how the brain takes what it has already learned to implement expectations that alter our interpretation of what we see and hear. Our work focuses on how memory regulates the way auditory and visual information interact in the brain to create perception.

Publications View
A cortical circuit for audio-visual predictions.
Authors: Authors: Garner AR, Keller GB.
Nat Neurosci
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Inferring cortical function in the mouse visual system through large-scale systems neuroscience.
Authors: Authors: Hawrylycz M, Anastassiou C, Arkhipov A, Berg J, Buice M, Cain N, Gouwens NW, Gratiy S, Iyer R, Lee JH, Mihalas S, Mitelut C, Olsen S, Reid RC, Teeter C, de Vries S, Waters J, Zeng H, Koch C.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
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Transgenic mice for intersectional targeting of neural sensors and effectors with high specificity and performance.
Authors: Authors: Madisen L, Garner AR, Shimaoka D, Chuong AS, Klapoetke NC, Li L, van der Bourg A, Niino Y, Egolf L, Monetti C, Gu H, Mills M, Cheng A, Tasic B, Nguyen TN, Sunkin SM, Benucci A, Nagy A, Miyawaki A, Helmchen F, Empson RM, Knöpfel T, Boyden ES, Reid RC, Carandini M, Zeng H.
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New approaches to neural circuits in behavior.
Authors: Authors: Garner A, Mayford M.
Learn Mem
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Generation of a synthetic memory trace.
Authors: Authors: Garner AR, Rowland DC, Hwang SY, Baumgaertel K, Roth BL, Kentros C, Mayford M.
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A survey of new temperature-sensitive, embryonic-lethal mutations in C. elegans: 24 alleles of thirteen genes.
Authors: Authors: O'Rourke SM, Carter C, Carter L, Christensen SN, Jones MP, Nash B, Price MH, Turnbull DW, Garner AR, Hamill DR, Osterberg VR, Lyczak R, Madison EE, Nguyen MH, Sandberg NA, Sedghi N, Willis JH, Yochem J, Johnson EA, Bowerman B.
PLoS One
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