January 13, 2017 – Neural machinery, natural and designed

Grounds for Science

with Tomer Langberg & Ryan Neely 

Friday, January 13, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Scarlet City Espresso Bar

Sensory Perception

The neurons in our brain responsible for sensation are activated by particular features in our environment, such as a certain touch or sound. The features that a given neuron represents, however, can change throughout life. This property, known as “plasticity,” is fundamental to learning and memory. Tomer Langberg will discuss the neural activity underlying sensory perception and how this activity may be altered in some autism spectrum disorders.

Representation of tactile information in the rodent sensory cortex (credit Sam Harding-Forrester)

Tactile information in the rodent sensory cortex

image: Sam Harding-Forrester

Tomer Langberg

Tomer Langberg

Tomer Langberg is a PhD student in Molecular & Cell Biology at UC-Berkeley. He previously conducted neuroscience research as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and later at Harvard University. He is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which neurons adapt to experiences, in health and disease.


New understanding of the peripheral nervous system and advances in micro-electronics have given rise to a new field known as electroceuticals. Instead of drugs, new medical treatments may utilize tiny electronic devices injected into the body that monitor and adjust how organs function. Ryan will discuss the concepts that make such treatments possible as well as the future potential and limitations of this technology.


Medical electroceuticals

Ryan Neely

Ryan Neely

Ryan Neely is a PhD candidate at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. He previously worked as a researcher at the Harvard Center for Brain Science, and has a BA from Harvard in neurobiology. For more reading, related work from Ryan and his colleagues has been recently featured in the news:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *