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Eric Yttri, Ph.D.

Carnegie Mellon University


Eric Yttri has been an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University since Fall 2017. His lab applies 3D nanoprinted electrodes to understand the large-scale circuit dynamics underlying motor performance and decision making. He learned many of the behavioral techniques he now implements in mice during his graduate studies of non-human primates with Larry Snyder at Washington University in St. Louis. After helping to establish the parietal areas responsible for saccades, reaches, and attention, he moved to the lab of Josh Dudman at Janelia Research Campus. As a postdoctoral fellow, he adapted the primate reaching task to the mouse model, while applying closed loop stimulation to reveal how different basal ganglia components modulate reach performance.

His new lab utilizes a partnership between technique development and experimentation to advance our understanding of purposive actions. He is developing a fully customizable electrode and light/drug delivery platform capable of recording hundreds of neurons across the brain. He employs these targeted devices during the performance of reaching, probabilistic learning and spontaneous open field behavior. He combines molecular techniques to identify the spiking activity of up to three neurons across the cortex and subcortex simultaneously to establish a blueprint for the circuit mechanisms of complex behavior. In an effort to more fully understand the nature of these circuits, the lab has expanded into models of network dysfunction, including OCD, stroke and Parkinson’s. When not in the lab, he enjoys conducting music and playing his flaming tuba.