Dr. He Cui received his bachelor degree from Tsinghua University in 1994 and a master degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1997. Then he went to US and earned a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003. After completing his postdoctoral training in California Institute of Technology in 2008, he started his own monkey lab in Medical College of Georgia. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow in 2010 and received a research award from Whitehall Foundation in 2011. His research focuses on neural mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control which will ultimately help to reveal new principles for guiding therapy and developing treatments for people with brain disorders affecting decision making and motor control.
Although important advances have been made in understanding neural coding of sensory and motor variables, most studies have emphasized purely reactive movements toward static targets, in which sensory stimuli and motor parameters are seamlessly linked, making it fundamentally incapable of determining whether the observed neural activity reflects sensory stimuli or predicts future movements. Consequentially, a specific role of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), an important cortical sensorimotor interface, has been an intense debate for a long time. In the last decade, we have designed a variety of sophisticated behavioral paradigms that allow decoupled sensory input and behavioral output, including non-spatial decision making, sequential arm movement, and flexible manual interception, to examine PPC activity in the rigorous behavioral contexts. In these voluntary, dynamic, and flexible stimulus-response contingencies, converging evidence suggested that the PPC explicitly convey information concerned with the upcoming movement, suggesting an intimate role in forward prediction and motor planning.