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UT's Valentin Dragoi gets $1.2 million grant for groundbreaking approach to brain research
Date:8/25/2009

te among each other to control behavior is virtually unknown. The new challenge in neuroscience is to decipher the language of populations of brain cells."

During the experiments, large populations of neurons will be recorded simultaneously using multiple, high-density electrode arrays in three key cortical areas involved in perceptual decisions, Dragoi said. "The experiments that we will perform have the potential to provide key insight into the dynamic transformations of the population code during a behavioral task," he said.

"Although the idea that behavior emerges from interactions among neuronal networks is not new, it has never been tested empirically under the framework of population coding," he said.

"The EUREKA award to Valentin Dragoi will be a major boost to his research on understanding the operation of normal and dysfunctional brain cortical neuronal networks and their impact on the decision-making processes of the brain. We can look forward to many significant scientific breakthroughs from this outstanding young scientist," said John H. Byrne, Ph.D., June and Virgil Waggoner Chair and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the UT Medical School at Houston

"It is a great honor for him, the department and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The fact that only a few grants were awarded within the entire National Institutes of Health is an indicator of the competitiveness of our neuroscience research program at the national level," Byrne said.

To receive a EUREKA grant, a research proposal must be linked to the mission of one of the NIH institutes. Dragoi's research is connected to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Valentin Dragoi received his doctorate at Duke University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a recipient of numerous awards including the James S. McDonnell Award, the Pew Scholar Award an
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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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UT's Valentin Dragoi gets $1.2 million grant for groundbreaking approach to brain research
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