Thalamus, Cortex & Cognition (Mitchell Lab)
Head direction cells in the anterior thalamus
Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying spatial cognition in rodents represents a crucial step to uncover global processes governing learning and adaptive behaviour in humans, due to the association between places, events and goals required to perform spatial tasks. Using a combination of behavioural and electrophysiological techniques, my PhD research investigates how the anteroventral nucleus of the anterior thalamus (AVN) contributes to our ability to learn new information. This research will add to the already well characterised mapping of head direction cells, and will enhance our understanding about the information that is available to support learning and navigation within the hippocampal system, in which the AVN remains an uncharacterised, yet critical structure.