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Monthly conference (PhD seminar) – Mackenzie Mathis

7 April 2023 / 11:30

Venue: Centre Broca

Mackenzie Mathis
EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Hosted by Jérémy Lesas (Herry’s team – Magendie)


Uncovering population dynamics by linking neural and behavioral data with machine learning.


Mapping behavioral actions to neural activity is a fundamental goal of neuroscience. As our ability to record large neural and behavioral data increases, there is growing interest in modeling neural dynamics during adaptive behaviors to probe neural representations. In particular, neural latent embeddings can reveal underlying correlates of behavior, yet, we lack non-linear techniques that can explicitly and flexibly leverage joint behavior and neural data to uncover neural dynamics. Here, we fill this gap with a novel encoding method, CEBRA, that jointly uses behavioral and neural data in a (supervised) hypothesis- or (self-supervised) discovery-driven manner to produce both consistent and high-performance latent spaces. We show that consistency can be used as a metric for uncovering meaningful differences, and the inferred latents can be used for decoding. We validate its accuracy and demonstrate our tool’s utility for both calcium and electrophysiology datasets, across sensory and motor tasks, and in simple or complex behaviors across species. It allows for single and multi-session datasets to be leveraged for hypothesis testing or can be used label-free. Lastly, we show that CEBRA can be used for the mapping of space, uncovering complex kinematic features, produces consistent latent spaces across 2-photon and Neuropixels data, and can provide rapid, high-accuracy decoding of natural movies from visual cortex.

Key Publications

Learnable latent embeddings for joint behavioral and neural analysis
Steffen Schneider, Jin Hwa Lee, Mackenzie Weygandt Mathis
arXiv, Oct 2022

Measuring and modeling the motor system with machine learning
Sebastien B Hausmann, Alessandro Marin Vargas, Alexander Mathis, Mackenzie W Mathis
Curr Opin Neurobiol, Oct 2021

PhD seminars are organized by the NBA, Bordeaux Neurocampus, and the Bordeaux Neurocampus Graduate Program

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7 April 2023
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