I did my BSc in Biology and worked as research assistant at the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Behavior from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, where I completed a thesis entitled “Effect of the pharmacological inhibition of the Superior Colliculus in Wistar rats, over the response of fear conditioning to a visual cue”. Through my work I developed a great interest in cognition and behavior, particularly in the underpinnings and information processing mechanisms by which these neural phenomena emerge. My fascination with information processing in the brain motivated me to do different research internships in the Netherlands and Germany to learn about cutting-edge electrophysiological techniques. It also led me to enroll in a Computational Neuroscience MSc program at the University of Sao Paulo in Riberão Preto, Brazil, to complement my experimental experience with theoretical approaches and computational modeling. For my thesis, entitled “Dendritic Morphology Alterations and Epilepsy: A Neurocomputational Approach”, I worked with biologically realistic neural modeling based on experimental data from pyramidal neurons of the neocortex, in order to systematically induce morphological changes as the ones observed in the dendrites of pyramidal neurons of epileptic brains, while holding fixed all the biophysical parameters involved in ion channel dynamics, and evaluate the effect exerted from these changes over their electrophysiology and information processing.
My main interest is to further investigate and better comprehend, how it is possible that such an amazing range of brain faculties emerge from the same stereotypical physical phenomena of membrane voltage fluctuations and action potential generation. I want to address this studying the mechanisms by which information is processed in the brain through the conjunction of experimental, theoretical and computational approaches for brain research.
- García, M.F., León, L.A., Cárdenas, F.P. (2009): Redundancia de la información visual en el condicionamiento aversivo: papel del colículo superior (Redundancy of visual information in aversive conditioning: role of the superior colliculus). Suma Psicológica, 16(1): 9-17.