Principal Investigator

Jianing Yu
Neural Circuits of Movement and Somatosensation




I did my undergraduate study at Tsinghua University, obtained an MSc degree from Dalhousie University, working on ion channels of the retina with Dr. Bill Baldridge, and earned a Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University, working on neural synchrony in the cat visual cortex with Dr. David Ferster. I did postdoc work in the lab of Dr. Karel Svoboda at Janelia Research Campus, working towards deciphering signal transmission in the cortical circuits of the barrel cortex during active tactile behavior.



Research Interests:

Neural Circuits of Movement and Somatosensation

First, we will investigate the neural basis of differential representations of self-produced versus externally-applied sensory stimuli. We will develop novel behavioral paradigms and combine in vivo electrophysiology (including in vivo whole-cell recordings and large-scale multi-channel recordings in behaving animals), optical imaging (including voltage imaging), optogenetic manipulation, and ablations.

We are also interested in the neural mechanisms of motor control, in particular, self-initiated movements. Through operant conditioning, we train animals to perform forelimb or whisker movements with defined kinematics and investigate the roles of cortical and subcortical brain structures in motor control.



Selected Publications:

1. Yu J, Hu H, Agmon A, Svoboda K. (2019) Recruitment of GABAergic Interneurons in the Barrel Cortex during Active Tactile Behavior. Neuron DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.07.027.

2. Yu J#, Gutnisky D#, Hires SA, Svoboda K. (2016) Layer 4 fast-spiking interneurons filter thalamocortical signals during active somatosensation. Nature Neuroscience 19(12):1647-1657. (# equal contribution)

3. Yu J, Ferster D. (2013) Functional coupling from simple to complex cells in the visually driven cortical circuits. Journal of Neuroscience 33(48):18855-66.

4. Yu J, Ferster D (2010) Membrane potential synchrony in primary visual cortex during sensory stimulation. Neuron 68(6):1187-201.

5. Yu J, Daniels BA, Baldridge WH. (2009) Slow excitation of cultured rat retinal ganglion cells by activating group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Journal of Neurophysiology 102(6):3728-39.

6. Yu J, Anderson CT, Kiritani T, Sheets PL, Wokosin DL, Wood L, Shepherd GM. (2008) Local-Circuit Phenotypes of Layer 5 Neurons in Motor-Frontal Cortex of YFP-H Mice. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 2008;2:6.



Lab Website:

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