Primary Faculty

Jude Mitchell

Assistant Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
PhD, University of California at San Diego, 2002

311 Meliora Hall

Office Hours: By appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Research Overview

An understanding of information processing at the level of cortical circuits remains a key challenge for understanding the brain and how the dysfunction of its circuits contributes to human mental disease.  It has long been appreciated that internal brain states, such as selective attention, can profoundly modulate our perception.  For example, when an observer focuses their attention toward a single object, such as a friend at a crowded party, it can lead to an almost complete filtering of the background.  My research focuses on the role that internal brain states, such as selective attention, play in modulating sensory processing.   In particular, I am interested in the distinct roles that different neuronal classes play in this process.

I have forged a new direction in research developing the smaller New World primate, the marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus), to study active visual perception and attention.  The marmoset provides several advantages as a model organism for these studies.  First, the marmoset’s visual and oculomotor system is highly similar to that of larger primates and humans.   Second, the recent development of transgenic lines in this species has opened many new opportunities for biomedical research.  At present, multiple international projects are developing genetic models of human mental disease as well as the methodologies to study their brain physiology. Last, due to their smooth lissencephalic brain, all of the visual and oculomotor areas lie accessible at the cortical surface of the marmoset, much facilitating the use of modern recording methods with planar and laminar arrays.  In recent work I have established the necessary techniques for visual behavior and neurophysiology in this species.   This opens new opportunities to study visual perception and attention in cortical circuits at a much deeper level.

Featured Publications

Selected Publications

Research Collaborators

Cory Miller, Dept of Psychology and Neuroscience Graduate Program, UCSD
Ed Callaway, Systems Neurobiology, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA
John Reynolds, Systems Neurobiology, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA