Long Ding, Ph.D.

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Research Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Department of Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania
D403 Richards Building
3700 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-9656
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

Electrophysiology; psychophysics; basal ganglia; frontal cortex; perceptual decisions

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?

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

Doi, T., Fan, Y., Gold, J.I., Ding, L.: The caudate nucleus contributes causally to decisions that balance reward and uncertain visual information. eLife 9(e56694), June 2020.

Abdus-Saboor, I., Fried, N.T., Lay, M., Burdge, J., Swanson, K., Fischer, R., Jones, J., Dong, P., Cai, W., Guo, X., Tao, Y.X., Bethea, J., Ma, M., Dong, X., Ding, L., Luo, W.: Development of a Mouse Pain Scale Using Sub-second Behavioral Mapping and Statistical Modeling. Cell Report 28(6): 1623-1634, Aug 2019.

Fan, Y., Gold, J.I., Ding, L: Ongoing, rational calibration of reward-driven perceptual biases. eLife 7(e36018), October 2018.

Kridsada, K., Niu, J., Haldipur, P., Wang, Z., Ding, L., Li, J.J., Lindgren, A.G., Herrera, E., Thomas, G.M., Chizhikov, V.V., Millen, K.J., Luo, W.: Roof Plate-Derived Radial Glial-like Cells Support Developmental Growth of Rapidly Adapting Mechanoreceptor Ascending Axons. Cell Report 23(10): 2928-2941, June 2018.

Ding, L: Distinct dynamics of ramping activity in the frontal cortex and caudate nucleus in monkeys. J Neurophysiol 114(3): 1850-61, Sep 2015.

Niu. J., Ding, L., Li, J.J., Kim, H., Liu, J., Li, H., Moberly, A., Badea, T.C., Duncan, I.D., Son, Y.J., Scherer, S.S., Luo, W.: Modality-based organization of ascending somatosensory axons in the direct dorsal column pathway. J Neurosci 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.

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Last updated: 11/02/2020
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