Min-Yoon Park

ntering Class - 2013

E-MAIL: park1133@umn.edu

UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:

  • Yonsei University (South Korea), B.S. in Biology, 2009
  • Yonsei University (South Korea), M.S. in Systems Biology, 2011

GRADUATE ADVISOR
Matthew Chafee, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS

DESCRIPTION OF GRADUATE RESEARCH
The ability to analyze, internally represent, and ultimately control 3D spatial relationships underlies geometrical reasoning which enables much of human technology, from tool design and use to the construction of cities. In spite of its fundamental importance to our behavior, we have little understanding how the analysis of spatial relationships between objects is mediated by neural activity in the primate cortex. To approach this question, my project will characterize how neural activity in the prefrontal-parietal network of the non-human primate brain encodes visual direction and angle in three dimensions, while dissociating neural correlates of the perception of this spatial relationship from other signals involved in visual processing of individual objects or in motor planning. Also, I will characterize how learning about the physical properties of the environment constrains the perception of 3D spatial relationships when retinal information alone is ambiguous. The motivating objective of my project is to better understand how goal-directed analysis of visual input serves to extract the spatial relationships between objects that are most critical to behavior and to relate this spatial cognitive process to neural activity patterns in the prefrontal-parietal network.

RESEARCH AREAS

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Visual Neuroscience

GRADUATE LEVEL AWARDS AND HONORS

  • 3M Science and Technology Fellowship, 2013

ROTATIONS

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE UMN?
The UMN neuroscience program is one of the biggest neuroscience graduate programs. You can do research in various fields, and there is a wide range of choices of laboratories open to you.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FIRST YEAR GRADUATE STUDENT?
First year is important and very busy because of lab rotations and the amount of studying one has to do. Therefore, time management and prioritization of your to-do list is necessary for success.

Min-Yoon Park