In order to make sense of the continuous stream of incoming sensory information the cortex must learn to discriminate between a myriad of different stimuli. This sensory discrimination relies on the spatial (e.g., the orientation of a line) and temporal (e.g., duration) features of stimuli. For example, discriminating the orientation of visual stimuli is critical for playing sports, driving or judging emotions, while estimating intervals and durations is important for anticipating the onset of a predator’s actions, the duration of traffic lights, or prosody. Sensory discrimination is thus fundamental for learning and memory, and generating complex behavior. Our lab examines how the brain links different features of stimuli to complex behavior.

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