Ipshita Zutshi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University School of Medicine
Ipshita Zutshi headshot

Ipshita Zutshi is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of György Buzsáki at the New York University School of Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology and computer science from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India, and completed her master’s degree with Carmen Sandi at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)Lin Switzerland. Zutshi went on to receive her Ph.D. from the University of California San Diego under the supervision of Stefan Leutgeb. Her graduate and early postdoctoral work have focused on understanding how local and reciprocal circuits between the medial entorhinal cortex and hippocampus generate functional firing that is known to support spatial navigation and memory. More recently, Zutshi is interested in the role of attention and motivation in selecting and filtering relevant sensory information that is fed into the hippocampal formation. By simultaneously monitoring brain-wide neural activity, she aims to understand how information processing is modified by fluctuating internal state to generate behaviorally relevant perceptions and memories. Zutshi was a recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship during her graduate career and the Leon Levy Fellowship in Neuroscience during her postdoctoral work.

Project: Transformation of sensory signals to internal representations

If you’re in a new neighborhood searching for a restaurant, you’ll notice every shop you pass. If you’re jogging there listening to your workout playlist, you won’t even notice any buildings around you. How do the same environmental stimuli lead to such different experiences? My future group will seek to understand how the brain creates a dynamic version of the external world that matches momentary behavioral goals.

During my postdoctoral work, I found that hippocampal neurons represent switching attention to auditory cues by conjunctively encoding task-relevant variables and spatial tuning. I propose to use hippocampal neural activity as a readout of an internal process that converts sensory information to task-relevant cognitive variables. My lab will examine how cortical circuits progressively transform sensory inputs to build instantaneous internal representations such as those seen in the hippocampus. Areas of focus will include (1) circuit computations that convey different streams to information between cortico-hippocampal networks; (2) oscillatory synchrony as a mechanism to increase the efficiency of information flow’ and (3) neuromodulatory mechanisms that influence these circuit properties. My research lab will use novel freely moving behavior tasks, large-scale extracellular electrophysiology, circuit perturbations and population-level statistical and analytical tools.

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