With generous support from the British Neuroscience Association and Cambridge University Students Union, we visited the shores of Oxford earlier this term – where the wonderful Cortex Club at Oxford Neuroscience hosted a Decision-making Symposium.
The great line-up of speakers took us from memory-guided behaviour in drosophila (Prof Scott Wadell), routed via the role of basal ganglia cell types in flexible behaviour (Dr Linda Wilbrecht) and the computation of instinctive escape decisions (Dr Tiago Branco) for the morning session. Post lunch (great weather and Oxford spires were a nice touch), we returned for the afternoon session, starting off with students talks by Timothy Wang, who’d done an undergrad at Cambridge we’d like to add! (perceptual decision-making in fruit flies), Paula Kaanders (linking neural representations for decision-making between monkey and human cortex), and Peter Zatka-Haas (cortical regions in decision-making behaviour). We then moved to hippocampal sensory sampling across species (Dr Helen Barron) and information search and choice in humans and primates (Dr Laurence Hunt).
The day rounded off with a panel discussion on how generalisable decision-making approaches were across species, what was next for the field of decision-making, and the all-consuming KFC versus Nandos debate (answered to unanimous resolution by the panel).
We ended the evening with a great dinner at Christ Church (and suitably awed by the magnificent staircase and hall!). Many thanks to the Cortex Club for being such great hosts!
We were delighted to welcome the Cortex Club for our own neuroscience symposium a few weeks later and thrilled that their president Lukas Krone won the graduate student poster award for his great work on how “selective silencing of layer 5 pyramidal neurons influences global sleep-wake regulation and cortical network dynamics”.
More collaboration between student societies please! We would love to be able to make this an annual event!