Yang-Yang Feng

Program: Biomedical Engineering

Current advisor: Ilya E. Monosov, PhD

Undergraduate university: Yale University

Research summary
In my current predoctoral work, I am investigating the neural mechanisms which govern multi-attribute decision-making. I employ a novel multi-attribute decision-making task in Rhesus macaques that requires monkeys to integrate preferences for reward amount, risk, and delay in order to decide between rewards. My research strategy involves 1) quantitatively modeling the contribution of attributes to decision-making behavior, 2) utilizing single-unit recording to investigate how the neural circuits in key brain regions control decision-making, and 3) applying pharmacological, optogenetic, and electro-stimulatory interventions to establish causal roles of these circuits and explore novel therapeutic avenues, with a focus on the role of the serotonergic system in regulating the lateral habenula. Taken together, this work will help uncover the behavioral strategies and neuronal mechanisms that govern physiologic multi-attribute decision-making and how disruption in these processes may underlie major depressive disorder and other psychiatric illnesses.

Graduate publications
Ogasawara T, Sogukpinar F, Zhang K, Feng YY, Pai J, Jezzini A, Monosov IE.. 2022 A primate temporal cortex-zona incerta pathway for novelty seeking. Nat Neurosci, 25(1):50-60.

Hundal J, Kiwala S, Feng YY, Liu CJ, Govindan R, Chapman WC, Uppaluri R, Swamidass SJ, Griffith OL, Mardis ER, Griffith M. 2019 Accounting for proximal variants improves neoantigen prediction. Nat Genet, 51(1):175-79.


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