Arghya joined the lab as a Postdoctoral Associate to work with Mike on uncovering neural circuits involved in decision-making. Currently he is studying cell type specific neural pathways between the mediodorsal thalamus and the prefrontal cortex involved in decision making under uncertainty and how they are perturbed in schizophrenia leading to the emergence of delusional thinking. To this end he uses a variety of techniques available within the Halassa laboratory, ranging from virus based tracing techniques to optogenetic manipulation of cell type specific circuits and in vivo recording in freely behaving mice.
Arghya did his graduate work with Prof. Pico Caroni at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Switzerland where he uncovered cellular and circuit mechanisms within the prefrontal cortex required for learning and consolidation of memories. In parallel he uncovered a therapeutic window and developed a strategy for long term functional rescue in the 22Q11 deletion model of Schizophrenia. This strategy is currently under translation by the Swiss National Science Foundation consortium on psychiatric diseases.
His overarching goal is to understand complex decisions as non-linear integration of cognitive modules specified by their input/output connectivity. Through such modular understanding of decision-making algorithms he hopes to identify therapeutic targets for the treatment of cognitive dysfunctions in psychiatric disorders such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder.
Outside the lab Arghya spends most of his time exploring the mountains in New England, reading about octopuses and trying to convince wholly disinterested audiences why The Wire is the best TV show ever made.
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