Cody Walters

Entering Class - 2015


Undergrad Institution and Major:

University of California - San Diego, B.S., Cognitive Science, 2015

Graduate Advisor:

A. David Redish, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience 

Thesis Committee Members:

Jonathan Gewirtz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology (Chairperson)
A. David Redish, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Matthew Chafee, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Shmuel Lissek, Ph.D., Department of Psychology

Description Of Graduate Research:

My research explores the relationship between decision-making, fear, and anxiety. Specifically, I am investigating how decisions are made during avoid-approach conflict by recording from large neural ensembles in freely behaving rats. By analyzing the information contained in local field potentials and single cell activity we can characterize the representational dynamics underpinning deliberation, action selection, and motivational valence.

Research Categories:

  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychiatric Disease
  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience

Graduate Level Awards and Honors:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse T32 Training Grant, 2016-2018

Graduate Level Publications:

  • Walters CJ, Redish AD. A case study in computational psychiatry: addiction as failure modes of the decision-making system. in Computational Psychiatry: Mathematical modeling of mental illness. Eds. Anticevic A, Murray J. Elsevier. Chapter 8, pp. 199-217, 2018.

Graduate Level Abstracts:

  • Walters CJ, A. David Redish AD. Indecisive behavior in response to environmental threat. Graduate Program in Neuroscience Annual Retreat, Minneapolis, 2017.
  • Jubran J, Walters CJ, Redish AD. The effect of anxiolytics on avoid-approach conflict behavior. University of Minnesota UROP Research Symposium, Minneapolis, 2017.

Professional Presentations:

  • Embodied cognition and the neural mechanisms underpinning imagination. (2016, 2017). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


Professional Outreach:

  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor at Irondale High School, 2015

Why Did You Choose MN?

I was attracted to the GPN because of the top-notch research happening here and the outstanding training program for incoming students. The university is big, and the GPN encompasses many departments (Bioengineering, Psychology, Pharmacology, etc.), so there are plenty of labs from which to choose.

Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave.

The best advice Brian Sweis has given me is to take full advantage of all the resources the GPN has to offer — from the students themselves to the professors in the program who are happy to answer questions and provide you with advice on just about anything!

What Advice Would You Give A First Year Graduate Student?

Pick a project that you are passionate about! One way to go about this is to talk candidly with PIs during your rotations to get a feel for what you would be doing if you joined their lab.