Long Ding, Ph.D.

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Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
111 Johnson Pavilion
Dept. of Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-9656
Fax: 215-573-9050
Education:
BS (Telecommunications)
Xidian University, 1994.
MS (Biomedical Engineering)
University of Northern California, 1997.
Ph.D. (Neuroscience)
University of Pennsylvania, 2003.
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Description of Research Expertise

KEY WORDS:
Electrophysiology; psychophysics; basal ganglia; frontal cortex; perceptual decisions

RESEARCH INTERESTS
How does the brain combine information gathered from the external world and internal preferences to reach an appropriate decision? How do different brain regions contribute to decision making and coordinate their actions?

RESEARCH SUMMARY
Decision-making is a computationally demanding process that requires the brain to interpret incoming sensory information in the context of goals, expectations, preferences, and other factors. In other words, the brain needs to combine sensory and contextual information, each with its own forms of uncertainty, to reach a single decision to guide behavior. The ability to properly incorporate contextual information is crucial for our well-being: solely relying on external sensory information leads to rigid, machine-like behavior; excessively relying on contextual information leads to compulsive decisions not based on the sensory reality. Our research efforts focus on how the brain implements the neural computations that are needed to combine uncertain visual and reward context information, particularly in the associative BG loop. We use a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological and computational techniques to address this question.

Selected Publications

Niu Jingwen, Ding Long, Li Jian J, Kim Hyukmin, Liu Jiakun, Li Haipeng, Moberly Andrew, Badea Tudor C, Duncan Ian D, Son Young-Jin, Scherer Steven S, Luo Wenqin: Modality-based organization of ascending somatosensory axons in the direct dorsal column pathway. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 33(45): 17691-709, Nov 2013.

Ding, L., Gold, J. I.: Separate, causal roles of the caudate in saccadic choice and execution in a perceptual decision task. Neuron 75(5): 865-74, Sep 2012.

Ding, L., Gold, J. I.: Neural Correlates of Perceptual Decision Making before, during, and after Decision Commitment in Monkey Frontal Eye Field. Cereb Cortex 22(5): 1052-67, May 2012.

Ding, L., Gold, J. I.: Caudate encodes multiple computations for perceptual decisions. J Neurosci 30(47): 15747-59, Nov 2010.

Ding, L., Hikosaka, O.: Temporal development of asymmetric reward-induced bias in macaques. J Neurophysiol 97(1): 57-61, 2007.

Ding, L., Hikosaka, O.: Comparison of reward modulation in the frontal eye field and caudate of the macaque. J Neurosci 26(25): 6695-703, 2006.

Farries, M. A., Ding, L., Perkel, D. J.: Evidence for "direct" and "indirect" pathways through the song system basal ganglia. J Comp Neurol 484(1): 93-104, 2005.

Ding, L., Perkel, D. J.: Long-term potentiation in an avian basal ganglia nucleus essential for vocal learning. J Neurosci 24(2): 488-94, 2004.

Ding, L., Perkel, D. J., Farries, M. A.: Presynaptic depression of glutamatergic synaptic transmission by D1-like dopamine receptor activation in the avian basal ganglia. J Neurosci 23(14): 6086-95, 2003.

Ding, L., Perkel, D. J.: Dopamine modulates excitability of spiny neurons in the avian basal ganglia. J Neurosci 22(12): 5210-8, 2002.

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Last updated: 12/11/2014
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