Merlin Williams

Merlin Williams

Postgrad Research Fellow
Gershman Lab
Merlin Williams

All animals need to orient themselves in 3D space. In order to do so, they must integrate complex movements into a coherent 3D representation. The firing of head direction cells encodes the directional bearing of an animal’s head as it moves around a flat area, but how does this system behave in complex 3D space?

My work involves making electrophysiological recordings of these head direction cells in behaving animals, as they traverse complex terrain, and comparing that neural activity with several planar and volumetric models. At Harvard, I will be exploring successor representation-based models for encoding of head orientation.


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