How do you plan your way to your favorite bar?
Most of what you do throughout a day revolves around short or long term planning of what you are going to do. It can range from deciding a restaurant for your date to planning the optimal investment portfolio for your retirement fund. In all such situations you are performing three amazing functions - first you are accurately estimating your current situation, next you are evaluating different options and finalizing on a goal, and finally you are calculating an optimal route from your current state to your goal state. Although we know a great deal about how current state is calculated in the brain, we know very little about how the future is represented. My work aims at addressing this question using a model organism that has an innate talent for calculating optimal routes to its goals - Rats.
Raunak comes from the bustling city of Kolkata in eastern part of India. After completing his undergraduate in India he moved to Utah for his PhD. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. When not in lab he enjoys photography and cooking.