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Michele Basso, Ph.D.

Email Address:
mbasso@mednet.ucla.edu
Work Email Address:
mbasso@mednet.ucla.edu

Mailing Address:
635 Charles Young Dr.
Box 957332
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UNITED STATES

Work Phone Number:
310 825 9941



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Department / Division Affiliations
Professor, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Brain Research Institute

Research Interest:

Focus on understanding the role of the basal ganglia and its inputs to the superior colliculus in cognitive processes related to decision-making.

Knowing how the discharges of single neurons and groups of neurons give rise to our thoughts, feelings, decisions and choices of action, lies at the fore of cognitive neuroscience. We know very little about how the activity of populations of neurons relate to behavioral choices, yet answers to such questions stand to reveal the fundamental mechanisms underlying neurological and psychiatric diseases ranging from Parkinsonís disease to addiction and schizophrenia. In my research program we focus on understanding the role of the basal ganglia and its inputs to the superior colliculus in cognitive processes related to decision-making. We incorporate a variety of experimental approaches. Our primary focus emphasizes behavioral, electrophysiological and computational techniques. Although powerful, this work is limited in its ability to reveal insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cognitive processes. Therefore, to uncover cellular mechanisms, we perform experiments in vitro using biophysical tools such as patch-clamp recording and voltage imaging. In my laboratory, we are exploring fundamental questions in cognitive neuroscience: 1) how are decisions represented in the sensorimotor networks of the basal ganglia and superior colliculus? 2) what are the computational principles that underlie decision-making? 3) how might these mechanisms go awry in disease? and 4) what are the cellular and synaptic mechanisms and dynamic properties of sensorimotor networks in the superior colliculus underlying decision-making?

Publications:

Mahamed Safraaz, Garrison Tiffany J, Shires Joel, Basso Michele A Stimulation of the Substantia Nigra Influences the Specification of Memory-Guided Saccades. Journal of neurophysiology. 2013; 39(1): .
Powers Alice S, Basso Michele A, Evinger Craig Blinks slow memory-guided saccades. Journal of neurophysiology. 2013; 109(3): 734-41.
Vokoun Corinne R, Jackson Meyer B, Basso Michele A Circuit dynamics of the superior colliculus revealed by in vitro voltage imaging. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2011; 1233(2): 41-7.
Li Xiaobing, Basso Michele A Cues to move increased information in superior colliculus tuning curves. Journal of neurophysiology. 2011; 106(2): 690-703.
Shires Joel, Joshi Siddhartha, Basso Michele A Shedding new light on the role of the basal ganglia-superior colliculus pathway in eye movements. Current opinion in neurobiology. 2010; 20(6): 717-25.
Vokoun Corinne R, Jackson Meyer B, Basso Michele A Intralaminar and interlaminar activity within the rodent superior colliculus visualized with voltage imaging. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2010; 30(32): 10667-82.
Kim Byounghoon, Basso Michele A A probabilistic strategy for understanding action selection. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2010; 30(6): 2340-55.
Gooding Diane C, Basso Michele A The tell-tale tasks: a review of saccadic research in psychiatric patient populations. Brain and cognition. 2008; 68(3): 371-90.
Liu Ping, Basso Michele A Substantia nigra stimulation influences monkey superior colliculus neuronal activity bilaterally. Journal of neurophysiology. 2008; 100(2): 1098-112.
Li Xiaobing, Basso Michele A Preparing to move increases the sensitivity of superior colliculus neurons. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2008; 28(17): 4561-77.
Kim Byounghoon, Basso Michele A Saccade target selection in the superior colliculus: a signal detection theory approach. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2008; 28(12): 2991-3007.
Utter Amy A, Basso Michele A The basal ganglia: an overview of circuits and function. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. 2008; 32(3): 333-42.
Basso Michele A, Liu Ping Context-dependent effects of substantia nigra stimulation on eye movements. Journal of neurophysiology. 2007; 97(6): 4129-42.
Smith Joshua J, Hadzic Vezira, Li Xiaobing, Liu Ping, Day Tiffany, Utter Amy, Kim Byounghoon, Washington Ida M, Basso Michele A Objective measures of health and well-being in laboratory rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Journal of medical primatology. 2006; 35(6): 388-96.
Li Xiaobing, Kim Byounghoon, Basso Michele A Transient pauses in delay-period activity of superior colliculus neurons. Journal of neurophysiology. 2006; 95(4): 2252-64.
Li Xiaobing, Basso Michele A Competitive stimulus interactions within single response fields of superior colliculus neurons. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2005; 25(49): 11357-73.
Basso Michele A, Pokorny Jennifer J, Liu Ping Activity of substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons during smooth pursuit eye movements in monkeys. The European journal of neuroscience. 2005; 22(2): 448-64.
Basso Michele A, Uhlrich Daniel, Bickford Martha E Cortical function: a view from the thalamus. Neuron. 2005; 45(4): 485-8.
Williamson Shawn S, Zivotofsky Ari Z, Basso Michele A Modulation of gaze-evoked blinks depends primarily on extraretinal factors. Journal of neurophysiology. 2005; 93(1): 627-32.