Larry Snyder

Email: larry at Education
Princeton University A.B. English 1982
University of Rochester M.D. Medicine 1992
University of Rochester Ph.D. Physiology 1992

Thesis: The effect of vergence angle and axis of head rotation on the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and on the discharge of cerebellar flocculus Purkinje cells in macaque monkey.
Advisor: W. Michael King

Post-doctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Principal investigator: Richard Andersen
Senior Research Associate, California Institute of Technology
Principal investigator: Richard Andersen
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Washington University
Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Washington University
Professor of Neurobiology, Washington University
Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Washington University

Fellowships and Awards
Medical Scientist Training Program 1982-1992
ARVO Travel Fellowship 1990
Bartlett Prize 1990
Robert Cates Award for Excellence in Science and Medicine 1992
McDonnell-Pew Postdoctoral Fellowship 1992-1994
Della Martin Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship 1994-1995
Sloan Fellowship 1998-1999
National Eye Institute Investigator 2000-2004
Klingenstein Fellowship 1998-2001
EJLB Foundation Scholar Fellow 2002-2004

Married to Tara Nealey, Biotech Patent Attorney
Children: Cassandra (Washington University Class of 2014) and
Braham (Washington University Class of 2016)

Our laboratory studies how locations in space are represented in the cerebral cortex, and how those representations are used to guide eye and arm movements. More generally, how is sensory spatial information transformed into commands for movement? And, given a system in which this occurs, how can we analyze that transformation?
Parietal cortex has long been implicated in the transformation of visual sensory information into motor commands. A patient with unilateral parietal damage may ignore objects in one half of the world, clothe only half of their body or eat from only half of their plate. Spatial memory is affected, and there are often motor deficits as well. In order to understand the role of the parietal cortex in representing space and subserving movement, we record from individual neurons in macaque monkeys while they perform complex visuo-motor tasks. The animals are trained to look at and reach for colored spots of light - a monkey video game. We ask how the locations of these spots are represented by neural activity in the brain. What frame of reference is used? Is there a single, generic representation or multiple special purpose representations? How is spatial information from other sensory systems combined with visually-derived information? How does the nature of the task, and what the animal intends to do, affect parietal processing? Is parietal cortex specifically involved in the learning of new sensory-motor mappings, or in coordinating eye and hand movement?