Lawrence Hugh Snyder, M.D., Ph.D.


Neurosciences Program

  • 314-747-3530

  • 314-747-4095

  • 314-747-4370

  • 8108

  • 313 East McDonnell Research Building



  • behavior, cognition, computational biology, eye-hand coordination, neurophysiology, systems neuroscience

  • Information processing in the cerebral cortex

Research Abstract:

My laboratory studies how the brain, and especially the cerebral cortex, combines sensory information with higher order cognition (rules, memory, etc) in order to drive motor commands. Much of our work is focused spatial processing for guiding eye and arm movements.

Parietal cortex provides an earlier link in the transformation of visual sensory information into motor commands. Patients with unilateral parietal damage may ignore objects in one half of the world. In severe cases, they may clothe only half of their body or eat from only half of their plate. Spatial memory is affected, and there are often motor deficits as well.

We record from individual neurons in the parietal cortex of macaque monkeys during complex tasks in order to understand the role of the cortex in the sensory-motor transformation. The animals are trained to look at and reach for colored spots of light — a monkey video game. We ask how the locations of these spots are represented by neural activity in the brain. What frame of reference is used? Is there a single, generic representation or multiple special purpose representations? How is spatial information from other sensory systems combined with visually-derived information? How is spatial information stored (memory)? How does the nature of the task, and what the animal intends to do, affect parietal processing? Is parietal cortex specifically involved in the learning of new sensory-motor mappings, or in coordinating eye and hand movement?

We perform our studies primarily in macaque monkeys, using single and multi-unit neuron recording, reversible inactivation of cortical areas, and MR-based tract tracing, functional MRI activation studies, and functional MRI connectivity studies.

Selected Publications:

Yttri EA, Liu Y, Snyder LH. Lesions of cortical area LIP affect reach onset only when the reach is accompanied by a saccade, revealing an active eye-hand coordination circuit. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 110:2371-6.

Rao V, DeAngelis GC, Snyder LH. Neural correlates of prior expectations of motion in the lateral intraparietal and middle temporal areas. J Neurosci. 2012 32:10063-74.

Patel GH, Shulman GL, Baker JT, Akbudak E, Snyder AZ, Snyder LH, Corbetta M. Topographic organization of macaque area LIP. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 107:4728-33.

Kubanek J, Wang C, Snyder LH. Neuronal responses to target onset in oculomotor and somatomotor parietal circuits differ markedly in a choice task. J Neurophysiol. 2013 110:2247-56.

Kubanek J, Snyder LH, Brunton BW, Brody CD, Schalk G. A low-frequency oscillatory neural signal in humans encodes a developing decision variable. Neuroimage. 2013 83:795-808.

Liu Y, Yttri EA, Snyder LH. Intention and attention: different functional roles for LIPd and LIPv. Nat Neurosci. 2010 13:495-500.

Chang SW, Snyder LH. Idiosyncratic and systematic aspects of spatial representations in the macaque parietal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2010 107:7951-6.

Stoet G, Snyder LH. Neural correlates of executive control functions in the monkey. Trends Cogn Sci. 2009 13:228-34.

Vincent JL, Patel GH, Fox MD, Snyder AZ, Baker JT, Van Essen DC, Zempel JM, Snyder LH, Corbetta M, Raichle ME. Intrinsic functional architecture in the anaesthetized monkey brain. Nature. 2007 447:83-6.

Chang SW, Papadimitriou C, Snyder LH. Using a compound gain field to compute a reach plan. Neuron. 2009 Dec 10; 64(5):744-55.

Last Updated: 2/5/2014 9:31:34 AM

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