Alexander Fanning, Ph.D.

Stanford University

Alex Fanning is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jennifer Raymond’s lab. He received his Bachelor of Science in psychology at the University of Iowa, while he worked as a research assistant studying state-dependent sensory and motor processing. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied the physiology of prediction-error signaling in the cerebellum. As a postdoctoral fellow, he has continued his studies of how predictions and prediction errors are computed by the cerebellum and related brain structures. Alex feels a deep sense of commitment to getting people relatively new to basic research the exposure and training they need to continue on a trajectory of being a scientist or to just have a better understanding of how they interact with the STEM environment. He is happy to help someone along as he was once helped when he was an undergraduate.

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Raymond

Fellow: Abigail Leyva

A key function of the brain is to make predictions that can guide behavior. Dr. Fanning has developed a set of behavioral paradigms in mice for distinguishing different kinds of predictions—predictions about external events in the world and predictions about the consequences of one’s own actions. The SURF fellow will work closely with Dr. Fanning to record and manipulate neural activity during these behaviors, to analyze how different kinds of predictions are generated by neural circuits, and how prediction errors are used to guide learning.

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