Plexon Research Spotlight
Principal Investigator, Halladay Lab, Santa Clara University
What type of neuroscience research do you do and what got you interested in this research?
I’m a behavioral neuroscientist, interested in how complex signals in the brain produce behaviors related to reward and aversion. I’ve always been fascinated by differences across individuals’ behavior and curious about how dysfunctional signaling in the brain can produce aberrant behavior.
What challenges did you encounter along the way, and how did you overcome these challenges?
I think many of the challenges I faced are common to most people in research: relocating at each phase of my career, struggling to create a healthy work-life balance, battling imposter syndrome, not getting that grant the first time around, etc. Overcoming these has been a mix of relying on others for support, taking time to reflect on the ‘big picture’ of my work, and reminding myself of the victories along the way.
What new technique do you think will have the greatest impact on Neuroscience research and how do you plan to apply this to your research?
It’s really hard to narrow it down to one new technique since it seems there are exciting developments constantly. I do think though that the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence has really enhanced our ability to utilize the tools we do have. We’re in the process of combining deep learning with in vivo electrophysiology recordings to uncover meaningful patterns in neural activity that map onto behavior.
Lab Website: https://halladay-lab.org/
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