Yttri Lab news:

10.8.21 – Tim Verstynen enjoyed visiting NYC to give a talk covering the work of our the multi-lab group at the CRCNS meeting

10.1.21 – Eric gave a virtual talk at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute. It was really exciting sharing our ideas with the excellent researchers there.

9.1.21 – Alex Hsu’s paper on B-SOiD is out on Nature Communications!  A really special achievement and a really great tool! Code and paper are both free open access.

8.05.21 – Luke Coddington visited from Janelia to give a great talk on the computational role of dopamine, as well as enjoy some time by the spatially-distanced fire

8.1.21 – Congrats to Helen Feibes on a great presentation at the uPNC symposium!

5.27.21 – The B-SOiD project got some very exciting news from Nature Communications…!

4.28.21 – Super excited to announce that our own undergraduate researcher, Jean Namgoong (seen here teaching me how to spike sort better), will be our new lab manager as of this summer!

4.8.21 – Congrats to our talented undergrad researcher Meera Krishna who will be starting her PhD at the Medical College of Wisconsin this fall!!!!

3.18.21 – Had a fantastic time “visiting” Berlin Germany as their inaugural TRR295 Colloquium speaker, discussing our work in the context of Parkinson’s disease and deep brain stimulation. Hopefully soon enough it’ll be in person!

3.1.21 – Do you like optogenetics, neuroscience, and/or sci fi? Our own Arula Ratnakar’s NOVELLA was just published in the great sci-fi journal, Clarkesworld!  Read it here!

2.24.21 – Congrats to Matt Mosso on a great rotation talk for the department. Paradoxical kinesia is pretty incredible!

2.9.21 – Excited to learn that our automated behavioral discovery and extraction tool, B-SOiD, has been added to NIH’s BIOWULF High-Performance Computing System

2.3.21 – Eric was just invited to lead give a talk to the German Transregional Collaborative Research center on neuromodulation and disease and to moderate the Allen Institute Open For Science symposium, both in March.

12.28.21 – Congrats to Julia Badyna on passing her Thesis Proposal! She’s building a computational and cell-type specific blueprint for corticostriatal mechanisms underlying choice behavior under varying levels of volatility. Very exciting!

12.14.20 – Arula Ratnakar, who teaches fellow undergrads neuroscience in a fantastic online StuCo course and does some thrilling art (writing, drawing) and science was featured in a College news story! Learn more about her diverse talents!
And check out her course – open to anyone!

11.23.20 – Congrats to Alan Lai for winning a Small Undergraduate Research Grant to understand the computational mechanisms underlying spontaneous behavioral decisions. Alan’s work has been the result of him pursuing his neuro and statistical interests, and we’re really excited to see what he finds.

11.18.20 – Welcome (back) to the lab, Mark Nicholas. After starting the lab with Eric as a technician, he’s continuing on in his study of the cortico-striatal dynamics underlying movement performance

10.05.20 – Are there Huntington’s disease hallmarks before diagnosis can be made? In a fantastic reader’s pick write up in eNeuro by our lab’s own Julia Badyna, she goes over an exciting launch point for future work in early HD therapeutic intervention. We’re excited about the work that captures the innovation on both the molecular and behavioral side, and hopefully provides impactful insights to HD therapies

09.20.20 – We’re excited to receive a CRCNS grant from the NIH! This will fund work on the neural basis of decision making with Tim Verstynen, Jon Rubin, and Cati Vich Llompart (Spain). Julia is already training mice to explore how neural populations modulate strategy in the face of volatility… particularly apropos as of late.

08.17.20 – Welcome to the lab, Hailey Gordon! She is a graduate of UC Berkeley (GO BEARS!!!) where her love for the brain began through her Cognitive Science program. At CMU, Hailey is looking forward to working on Brain Computer Interface centered research in order to pursue her passion for neural prosthetics.

08.06.20 – Vishal wrote an excellent summary of the Kanold Lab’s ToneBox and the state of automated, open tools in behavioral neuroscience – published through eNeuro.

07.30.20 – Parley and Eric were interviewed by eNeuro about the lab, science, and features of a good mentor

06.12.20 – We’re excited to welcome Nahom Mossazghi to the lab!


Nahom is starting his M.S. in BME after his BS from Minnesota and his current Research Fellow position at NIH – where he’s already been using B-SOiD! His main hobbies include cooking, hiking, watching classic movies and rooting for his favorite NFL and NBA teams.

06.10.20 – Congrats to rising-sophomore Vishal Patel on winning the university’s Summer Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship!  He’s be analyzing the dynamics of social behaviors this summer.

06.01.20 – Eric gave an exciting talk on our 3D-printed CMU Arrays at the NIH BRAIN Investigators meeting today with Loren Frank, Cindy Chestek and others

05.04.20 – Congratulations to both Meera and Alan for being awarded Carnegie Mellon’s Undergraduate Research Office Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships!








04.28.20 – Julia Badyna, PhD candidate –  Welcome to the lab!!!!

03.31.20 – Eric presents about B-SOiD at Neuromatch.

03.01.20 – “Open-source joystick manipulandum for decision-making, reaching, and motor control studies in mice.” now in print at eNeuro, Pubmed.

02.22.20 – Eric shared what the lab is doing as one of four professors invited to speak at the CMU Board of Trustees retreat in San Francisco. The lab’s hard work made it easy to encourage the Board to think about what we as a university can “Make Possible“.

01.31.20 – Another PAPER ACCEPTED! Postdoc Matt Geramita and Prof Susanne Ahmari and I wrote a comptrehensive interesting summary of reinforcement learning, various tasks to assess it, and how we can translate findings from mouse to man. Coming soon to J Neuro Res

01.25.20 – PAPER ACCEPTED! Great work by Parley Belsey and Mark Nicholas demonstrating how to build and implement an inexpensive joystick to do reaching, reaction time, and decision-making tasks! Look for it in eNeuro soon!

01.23.20 – Thanks to Karunesh Ganguly, UCSF, for a fantastic visit to the lab and insightful talk to the Neuroscience Institute!

01.22.20 – Alex Hodge presented an excellent survey of his recent work to the CMU Research Seminar on reinforcement learning on unconstrained behavior using closed-loop stimulation of striatum.  Well done!

12.15.19 – Happy Holidays from the Yttri lab!!!!!


11.18.19 – Congrats to Jean Namgoong for winning the 2020 Small Undergraduate Research Grant! Her work with optogenetic phototagging demonstrates what is possible with a good opportunity and a great undergrad!

10.02.19 – B-SOiD (“b-side”) toolbox released and getting great exposure. The software provides unbiased, unsupervised classification of naturalistic behaviors with millisecond resolution. Easy to use and applicable to mice, rats, monkeys, birds or humans!  Excellent job Alex Hsu!!!

09.25.19 – Eric Yttri named to the Allen Institute’s Next Generation Leaders Council. Thankful for Christof Koch’s words: “The 2019 group is an impressive cadre of rising stars in neuroscience and we’re looking forward to the perspective they will bring to our research programs.”

09.17.19 – BioRxiv preprint of fully-customizable microelectrode CMU Array is out. Also started our raffle to win an array made specifically for the winners’ experimental question!!!

09.12.19 – Getting some media attention for our recent large-scale recording grant! Here’s two stories, including a CMU feature and a 3D Printing Industry article.

07.09.19 – Congrats to Alex Hodge! He receives the College’s Graduate Student Conference Award, the only student in Biological Sciences to do so

07.04.19 – Eric’s interview, lab’s work, and creative picture made by the lab, featured in a CNN story about the science of ‘Stranger Things’

06.17.19 – Excited to announce that the Brain Research Foundation has selected our proposal to study how value decisions are made by genetically different populations of neurons across mPFC / striatal circuits!

05.24.19 – Parley Belsey wins the Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research at her graduation! Another great achievement for her. We’re excited that she’ll be coming back to the Yttri lab to carry on her excellent research!

05.08.19 – Congratulations to Parley for placing second in her group at the Sigma Xi Poster Competition at Meeting of the Minds 2019 presenting her excellent work on building an automated mouse reach task capable of two-armed bandit and reaction time tasks!

04.22.19 – Yttri Lab receives DSF Foundation Collaborative Research grant to develop high-density, flexible neural probes that fully digitize and spike sort ON THE PROBE – saving time, effort, and data bandwidth.

04.01.19 – Video of Eric’s recent fantastic talk on cortico-striatal interactions and delineating the function of the basal ganglia circuit to the Society for Neuroscience’s advisory board

03.13.19 – Latest publication!  In this Biorxiv pre-print, Parley and Mark describe and benchmark our easy-to-build mouse joysticks that enable closed-loop stimulation in realtime as well as complex reaction time and probabilistic learning tasks.

03.11.19 – An article was just published summarizing our Open Science Symposium last fall, paid for in part by a grant from the DSF Foundation. The article can be found here and video of the fantastic talks can be found here

This grant is to create a fully customizable, 3D printed ultra high density electrode array, in collaboration with Dr Rahul Panat. This array will ultimately be used to record from thousands of neurons across several targeted brain regions to answer questions concerning neural mechanisms of action and improvement of AI transfer learning algorithms.

10.10.18 – The Yttri lab published a new review about the potential for optogenetic research to improve deep brain stimulation!

09.07.18 – Congratulations Eric Yttri for winning the Kaufman New Investigator Award. The goal of the proposal is to explore how multiple brain areas work together to learn and improve movement. More details on the award can be found here

08.15.18 – Congratulations Eric Yttri for winning the Whitehall Foundation Award. The 3 year grant will cover how cortical and basal ganglia interactions orchestrate movement and value-based decisions

05.30.18 – Congrats to the ‘Deep Nets’ team for winning the CMU Neurohackathon using our lab’s dataset of reaching / hundreds of simultaenously recorded cortical and striatal neurons!

04.01.18 – Just published! Summary of our quantifiable, testable model of how the motor system and basal ganlia work in health and disease states. Email us if you have any questions.

03.21.18 – Yttri lab wins DSF Young Investigator Grant and funding for Open Science Symposium

03.07.18 – Congrats to Parley Belsey – winner of the CMU Open Science Logo Competition
CMU Open Science Logo Competition

02.27.18 – Barbara Shinn-Cunningham To Lead Carnegie Mellon’s New Neuroscience Institute

08.29.17 – Introducing Assistant Professor Eric Yttri

Now accepting rotation students and postdocs  !!!