Neeraj J. Gandhi, PhD

  • Professor, Bioengineering, Neuroscience, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition




Personal Website

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Education & Training

PhD, University of California, San Francisco (1997)

Campus Address

Benedum 302E

One-Line Research Description

Neuronal signatures of representation and communication for sensation, action, and cognition

The nervous system continuously monitors the environment and, when necessary, produces overt or covert behavior in response to the sensory stimulation. To facilitate orientation towards objects of interest, the sensory representation of target location is transformed into neural commands that evoke a complex, coordinated, and accurate movement. Thus, one aim of my research is to understand the neural implementation of coordinated movements. More specifically, I am interested in investigating cortical and subcortical mechanisms that control coordinated movements of the eyes and head, as well as integration of different types of eye movements (for example, saccades and smooth pursuit).

In producing orienting behavior, the efficacy of sensory to motor transformation depends on cognitive processes. One such mechanism, motor preparation, proposes that neural signals encoding the metrics of a desired movement develop gradually. A second area of research is geared to test the motor preparation hypothesis and to investigate the extent of its association with other sensorimotor attributes, which are emphasized by varying task-specific requirements.

These objectives are addressed using both experimental (extracellular recording, microstimulation, chemical microinjections) and computational tools (lumped and distributed network models). An understanding of the cognitive and motor processes that produce integrated orienting behavior has diagnostic value for deficits resulting from disease.

Representative Publications

Sensorimotor transformation elicits systematic patterns of activity along the dorsoventral extent of the superior colliculus in the macaque monkey C Massot, UK Jagadisan, NJ Gandhi Communications biology 2 (1), 1-14

Performance evaluation of dereferencing methods for estimating information flow in laminar connectivity models* AL Smoulder, UK Jagadisan, AH Dallal, NJ Gandhi 2019 9th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), 267-270

Instantaneous midbrain control of saccade velocity I Smalianchuk, UK Jagadisan, NJ Gandhi Journal of Neuroscience 38 (47), 10156-10167

The superior colliculus and the steering of saccades toward a moving visual target L Goffart, AL Cecala, NJ Gandhi Journal of neurophysiology 118 (5), 2890-2901

Removal of inhibition uncovers latent movement potential during preparation UK Jagadisan, NJ Gandhi Elife 6, e29648

Population temporal structure supplements the rate code during sensorimotor transformations UK Jagadisan, NJ Gandhi bioRxiv, 132514

Jagadisan UK and Gandhi NJ. Extracting saccades from eye movements triggered by reflex blinks. bioRxiv 132514, 2018.

Smalianchuk I, Jagasidan UK and Gandhi NJ. Instantaneous midbrain control of saccade velocity. J Neurosci, 38: 10156-67, 2018.

Goffart L, Cecala AL and Gandhi NJ. The superior colliculus and the steering of saccades toward a moving visual target. J Neurophysiol, 118: 2890-901, 2017.

Jagadisan UK and Gandhi NJ. Removal of inhibition uncovers latent movement preparation dynamics. eLife 6:e29648, 2017.

Jagadisan UK and Gandhi NJ. Disruption of fixation reveals latent sensorimotor processes in the superior colliculus. J Neurosci, 36: 6129-40, 2016.

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