Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow
I completed my PhD in neuroscience at Cambridge University with Wolfram Schultz, investigating the roles of midbrain dopamine neurons in economic decision making (Lak et al PNAS 2014, Current Biology 2014, eLife 2016, Stauffer et al Cell 2016). As a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, I worked with Matteo Carandini, Kenneth Harris and Adam Kepecs at UCL (London) and CSHL (NY). I combined neuronal circuit tools with novel behavioural and computational methods that I developed to investigate the roles that frontal cortex and dopamine neurons play in perceptual and economic decisions (Lak et al Neuron 2014, Cell Reports 2017, Current Biology 2017, bioRxiv 2019).
My group aims to gain a quantitative circuit-level understanding of neuronal mechanisms that subserve learning and decision making. We employ a multi-disciplinary approach including high-count electrophysiology, cell type-specific calcium imaging, optogenetic manipulations, highly-controlled behavioural tasks in mice, and computational modelling. My research group is funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship of the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society.
Reinforcement biases subsequent perceptual decisions when confidence is low: a widespread behavioral phenomenon.
Lak A. et al, (2020), Elife, 9
The Spineless Origins of Prefrontal Cortex Dysfunction and Psychiatric Disorders.
Butt SJB. and Lak A., (2020), Neuron, 105, 4 - 6