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Gary Marsat, PhD

Assistant Professor

Affiliations

Biology; Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute 

Graduate Training

McGill University, PhD in Biology, 2007

Fellowship

Center for Neural Dynamics and Department of Cellular & Molucular Medicine, University of Ottawa, 2007-2009; Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine and Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, 2009-2012

Research Interests 

"What's the neural code, what mechanism does it rely on and how does it participate in behavioral fitness" The nervous system can be divided in three levels: sensory areas (the input side), motor areas (the output side) and higher functions (such as decision making). A central theme in neuroscience is to relate the sensory input to the behavioral output. An important task in this endeavor is to understand how sensory signal are first encoded by the nervous system. Relevant signals must be be encoded efficiently and the information carried to higher brain areas in a format most appropriate for further processing. Our main interest is to understand how nervous systems perform this task, in other words how sensory signals are transformed by the nervous system to ultimately produce the appropriate behavior. We use a combination of in vivo electrophysiology, computational neuroscience tools, behavioral assays, histology, imaging and pharmacological manipulations. The research in our lab is at the intersection of three connected areas of neuroscience: Systems Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience and Neuroethology. 

You can find descriptions of recent or older research projects here: Recent Projects: https://sites.google.com/site/garymarsat/research/recentPast Research: https://sites.google.com/site/garymarsat/research/pastLab Personnel44177,44178,44179 Publications Neeley, B., Overholt, T., Artz, E. and Marsat, G (2015). Behavioral effect of cannabinoid agonist on the social and communication behavior of weakly electric fish as a function of context. In preparation

Lab Personnel

Kate Allen
PhD Student
Graduate Assistant
Department of Biology
kaallen@mix.wvu.edu

Daniel Williamson
MSc Student
Graduate Assistant
Department of Biology
dwilli44@mix.wvu.edu

Sree Indrani Motipally
MSc Student
Graduate Assistant
Department of Biology
srmotipally@mix.wvu.edu


Publications

Neeley, B., Overholt, T., Artz, E. and Marsat, G (2015). Behavioral effect of cannabinoid agonist on the social and communication behavior of weakly electric fish as a function of context. In preparation 

Allen, K. and Marsat, G (2015). Discrimination of electrocommunication signals as a function of context. In preparation 

*Mejias, JF., * Marsat, G., Longtin, A. and Maler, L. (2013) Learning contrast-invariant cancellation of redundant signals in nerual systems. PLOS Comput Biol, 9:e1003180 (*co-first authors) 

Bol, K., Marsat, G., Mejias JF., Longtin, A. and Maler, L. (2013). Modeling cancelation of periodic inputs with burst-STDP and feedback. Neural Networks, 47:120-133. 

Marsat, G. and Pollack, G.S. (2012). Bursting neurons and ultrasound avoidance in crickets . Front Neurosci, 6:95. 

Marsat, G., Longtin, L. and Maler, L. (2012). Cellular and circuit properties supporting different sensory coding strategies in electric fish and other systems. Curr Opin Neurobiol , OI:10.1016/j.conb.2012.01.009. 

Marsat, G. and Maler, L. (2012). Preparing for the unpredictable: adaptive feedback enhances the response to unexpected communication signals. J Neurophysiol, 107: 1241-1246.

*Bol, K., *Marsat, G., Harvey-Girard, E., Longtin, A. and Maler, L. (2011). Frequency-tuned cerebellar channels and burst-induced LTD lead to the cancellation of redundant sensory inputs. J Neurosci, 31:11028-11038. (*co-first authors)

Marsat, G. and Maler, L. (2010). Neural heterogeneity and efficient population codes for communication signals. J Neurophysiol, 104:2543-2555.

Marsat, G. and Pollack, G.S. (2010). The structure and size of sensory bursts encode stimulus information but only size affects behavior. J Comp Physiol A, 196:315-320.