Christopher D Harvey
Christopher D Harvey, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurobiology

The goal of our research is to understand how decision-making and working memory behaviors are implemented by neuronal circuits in the mammalian cortex. In many daily behaviors, we use sensory information from our surroundings to choose between multiple alternatives and to guide our future actions. For example, when walking along a street, we use visual landmarks to decide and plan whether to turn right or left at an upcoming intersection to reach our destination. Our laboratory is interested in the microcircuit and cellular mechanisms of how sensory evidence is used to guide behaviors through perceptual decision computations in mouse cortical circuits. We focus on the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), which is at the interface of sensation and action and is thought to be important for decision-related processes. Our current research involves a variety of approaches toward developing a mechanistic and biophysical understanding of PPC function in mice during decision and working memory tasks, including: 1. Experiments to identify the principles of the activity dynamics in neuronal populations to understand how computations in the microcircuit are performed; 2. Studies to measure and manipulate the functions of specific classes of cells, including genetically- and anatomically-defined classes, to examine the roles of different components in the circuit; and, 3. Experiments identifying the relationship between the synaptic connectivity and activity patterns of neurons to understand how components in the circuit are linked, both within the PPC and with other brain areas. Experiments in our laboratory are centered around a recently developed virtual reality system in which mice can navigate through visual virtual environments. This system allows us to train mice to perform perceptual decision-making tasks and to probe circuit function during these tasks using a wide range of optical, electrophysiological, genetic, and anatomical methods. For example, in behaving mice, we use two-photon imaging of genetically-encoded indicators to monitor dynamics in neuronal populations and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to measure the synaptic and cellular function of individual neurons. In addition, we have a continuing interest in developing new approaches to record neuronal activity in behaving mice and in expanding the set of decision-making behavioral paradigms for mice.

 

"Our laboratory is interested in the microcircuit and cellular mechanisms of how sensory evidence is used to guide behaviors through perceptual decision computations in mouse cortical circuits."

Publications View
Correlations enhance the behavioral readout of neural population activity in association cortex.
Authors: Authors: Valente M, Pica G, Bondanelli G, Moroni M, Runyan CA, Morcos AS, Harvey CD, Panzeri S.
Nat Neurosci
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Scaling of sensory information in large neural populations shows signatures of information-limiting correlations.
Authors: Authors: Kafashan M, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/125868897">Jaffe AW</a>, Chettih SN, Nogueira R, Arandia-Romero I, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/1258134">Harvey CD</a>, Moreno-Bote R, <a href="https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/profile/59923576">Drugowitsch J</a>.
Nat Commun
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Bidirectional perisomatic inhibitory plasticity of a Fos neuronal network.
Authors: Authors: Yap EL, Pettit NL, Davis CP, Nagy MA, Harmin DA, Golden E, Dagliyan O, Lin C, Rudolph S, Sharma N, Griffith EC, Harvey CD, Greenberg ME.
Nature
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Stable task information from an unstable neural population.
Authors: Authors: Rule ME, Loback AR, Raman DV, Driscoll LN, Harvey CD, O'Leary T.
Elife
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Voltage imaging and optogenetics reveal behaviour-dependent changes in hippocampal dynamics.
Authors: Authors: Adam Y, Kim JJ, Lou S, Zhao Y, Xie ME, Brinks D, Wu H, Mostajo-Radji MA, Kheifets S, Parot V, Chettih S, Williams KJ, Gmeiner B, Farhi SL, Madisen L, Buchanan EK, Kinsella I, Zhou D, Paninski L, Harvey CD, Zeng H, Arlotta P, Campbell RE, Cohen AE.
Nature
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The Spatial Structure of Neural Encoding in Mouse Posterior Cortex during Navigation.
Authors: Authors: Minderer M, Brown KD, Harvey CD.
Neuron
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Single-neuron perturbations reveal feature-specific competition in V1.
Authors: Authors: Chettih SN, Harvey CD.
Nature
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Dynamic Reorganization of Neuronal Activity Patterns in Parietal Cortex.
Authors: Authors: Driscoll LN, Pettit NL, Minderer M, Chettih SN, Harvey CD.
Cell
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Distinct timescales of population coding across cortex.
Authors: Authors: Runyan CA, Piasini E, Panzeri S, Harvey CD.
Nature
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History-dependent variability in population dynamics during evidence accumulation in cortex.
Authors: Authors: Morcos AS, Harvey CD.
Nat Neurosci
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