Brendan Hasz

Entering Class - 2013

E-MAIL: haszx010@umn.edu

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Brandeis University, B.S. in  Neuroscience and Computer Science, 2013

Graduate Advisor:

David Redish, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Thesis Committee Members:

Description Of Graduate Research:

I study decision-making in rats. Specifically, what neural algorithms are used in striatum, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex to make habitual and deliberative choices and how those multiple decision-making systems work together or against each other to generate a single choice. Techniques I use include multi-electrode recordings in behaving rats, computational modeling, machine learning, LFP and spike train analysis, and frankly far too much maze-building with LEGOs.

Research Areas:

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience

Graduate Level Awards And Honors:

  • NSF  IGERT Neuroengineering Fellowship Program, 2013

Professional Presentations:

  • Rats in a Virtual Environment. Poster presentation at Department of Neuroscience Retreat, February 2015.
  • A Spatial Two-stage Decision Task for Rats. Poster presentation at the Institute for Engineering in Medicine Annual Conference and Retreat, University of Minnesota, September 2015.
  • Model-based and Model-free Neural Decision Making Systems. Oral presentation at Department of Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, March 2016.
  • An Unsupervised Algorithm for Neural Spike Sorting inspired by Superparamagnetic Clustering. Poster presentation at the Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, April 2016.
  • A Spatial Two-stage Decision Task for Rats. Poster presentation at the Center for Cognitive Sciences Spring Research Day, University of Minnesota, April 2016.
  • Behavioral Correlates of Model-based and Model-free Decisions are Revealed by a Two-step Decision-task for Rats. Poster presentation at the Institute for Engineering in Medicine Annual Conference and Retreat, University of Minnesota, September 2016.
  • Spike Decoding without Spike-sorting using Kernel Density Estimation.  Poster presentation at the Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium, Minneapolis MN, April 2017.

Rotations:

Professional Outreach:

  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, various Schools across the Twin Cities area 2014- Present
  • Presenter at “Social Science”, Science Museum of Minnesota, October 2015 and 2016
  • Volunteer at the Annual Brain Bee Competition, Minneapolis, MN, 2016
  • Brains at the Fair, Minnesota State Fair University of Minnesota Booth, August 2016

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neuroscience, 2016 – present

Why Did You Choose UMN?

I chose UMN because of the diversity of neuroscience research, the IGERT neuroengineering program, and because I was interested in the work of my advisor, Dr. David Redish.

What Advice Would You Give A First Year Graduate Student?

If you’re working on a “long-shot” project, try to have a “probably going to work” one as well on the side.

Brendan Hasz