Dr. Dana Rubi Levy did her PhD in the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, studying the neural mechanism of social behaviors and autism spectrum disorder. For her postdoc, at the Harvard Medical School, she explores the development of specific behavioral patterns by tracking mice from weaning to adulthood. For that aim, Dr. Levy is using a unique algorithm that automatically identifies and classifies meaningful behavioral patterns without interfering with mouse behavior and without observer bias.
Dr. Levy will assess how behavior evolves throughout development, how environmental changes during critical periods in development might influence and predict adult phenotypes and how variations in behavior develop into unique “personality structures”.
While she tracks the behavior of the mice, she will simultaneously analyze the neuronal activity of the dorsal striatum, a brain region crucial for controlling action and encoding motor sequences. She will try to reveal how the brain supports the formation of certain behaviors, and how variation in neuronal activity correlates with individual behavioral variability. Dr. Levy’s work could potentially contribute to unraveling the link between brain and behavior in health and disease.