2018.5.15 [Tue] Up
After graduating from medical school, I attended an interdisciplinary M Tech course at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India. While doing the M Tech at IIT, I received an opportunity to attend a short term summer internship at Masao Ito’s lab at Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako Shi. The experience in Ito sensei’s lab was scientifically very exciting and I thought of continuing my PhD here in Japan. After an interview during the last days of my internship, Dr. Keiji Tanaka offered me a PhD project in his lab. I joined Tanaka lab next year for my PhD and also got registered with the Graduate School of Science and Engineering of Saitama University since RIKEN can’t award the PhD degree by itself. I was supported by the International Program Associate (IPA) fellowship by RIKEN. My project is about the visual stimulus-reward associations in inferotemporal areas of Macaque monkey brains. Associating the possible reward (or no-reward) values with the environmental cues and updating such value associations depending on the feedbacks are very important survival mechanisms of living beings. An understanding of the precise mechanisms of such value associations and its flexibility with contextual changes may provide valuable insights about the related working mechanisms of human brain. Currently, I am preparing the research paper from the data I collected through my experiments using single cell electrophysiology from Macaque monkey brains. I believe that I can utilize the techniques I learned and the scientific culture I experienced from RIKEN and Saitama University to continue my career in brain research so as to further explore and understand the exciting topic of value association encoding in brain.