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Blake Porter, B.A. Hons
University of Otago — New Zealand
Phone: +64 021-338-020
Ph.D. in Psychology February 2014 – Present (submitted January 2017)
University of Otago – Dunedin, NZ
B.A. in Neuroscience with Honors September 2009 – May 2013
Minor: Human Physiology
Boston University – Boston, MA
Kristin Hillman Lab for the Neural Basis of Effortful Behaviour 2017 – 2020
University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
David Bilkey Lab for Brain and Behavior February 2014 – Present
In conjunction with the Brain Health and Research Center
University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
Use of in vivo electrophysiology techniques to investigate how self-control is represented at a neural level, the effects that choice costs have on the brain’s representation of the world, and the circuit level dynamics of planning actions utilizing cost information
Howard Eichenbaum Lab for Cognitive Neurobiology February 2012 – January 2014
Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Use of in vivo electrophysiology techniques to investigate the structure of memory consolidation and organization in the hippocampus with learning, hippocampal and medial prefrontal circuit dynamics in a context-guided object association task, and to investigate the neural mechanisms by which conjunctive encoding within the dentate gyrus and between the dentate gyrus and other hippocampal subregions.
- Lara M. Rangel, Blake Porter, Ian S. Heimbuch, Pamela D. Riverère, Katie Keefe, and Howard Eichenbaum. Conjunctive encoding in the Dentate Gyrus of the Hippocampus. (in prep)
- Lara M. Rangel, Jon W. Rueckemann, Pamela D. Riverère, Katie R. Keefe, Blake S. Porter, Ian S. Heimbuch, Carl H. Budlong, and Howard Eichenbaum. Rhythmic coordination of hippocampal neurons during associative memory processing. eLife. 11 January 2016. 5:e09849. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09849. Open Access.
- Anja Farovik, Ryan Place, Samuel McKenzie, Blake Porter, Catherine Munro, and Howard Eichenbaum. Orbitofrontal cortex encodes memories within value-based schemas and represents contexts that guide memory retrieval. Journal of Neuroscience. 27 May 2015. 35(21):8333-8344. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0134-15.2015
- Sam McKenzie, Andrea J. Frank, Nathaniel R. Kinsky, Blake Porter, Pamela D. Riverère, and Howard Eichenbaum. Hippocampal Representation of Related and Opposing Memories Develop within Distinct, Hierarchically Organized Neural Schemas. Neuron. 2 July 2014. 83(1)202 – 215. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.05.019
- Blake S. Porter, Calvin K. Young, and David K. Bilkey. Hippocampal place cell representations of effortful space. Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research, 2016.
- Blake S. Porter, Kristin L. Hillman, and David K. Bilkey. The neural mechanisms of representing effortful space. Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research, 2015.
- Lara M. Rangel, Katie R. Keefe, Pamela D. Riverère, Carl H. Budlong, Ian S. Heimbuch, Blake Porter, and Howard Eichenbaum. Single cell and ensemble odor-place representations in the Dentate Gyrus and CA1 of the Hippocampus. Society for Neuroscience 2014 Conference.
- Lara M. Rangel, Jeremiah S. Rosen, K. V. Chawla, Brian J. Ferreri, Ian Heimbuch, Blake Porter, and Howard Eichenbaum. Persistent increases in beta frequency oscillatory activity in the Dentate Gyrus of the Hippocampus During Object-Context Association Intervals.Society for Neuroscience 2013 Conference.
- Anja Farovik, Sam McKenzie, Ryan Place, Blake Porter, and Howard Eichenbaum. Neural activity by Medial Prefrontal cell ensembles during context-guided object discrimination. Society for Neuroscience 2013 Conference.
- Sam McKenzie, Andrea Frank, Lara M. Rangel, Jeremiah S. Rosen, Vittoria Smeglin, Blake Porter, and Howard Eichenbaum. Multidimensionalcoding in the Hippocampal network. Society for Neuroscience 2013 Conference.
- Blake Porter, Andrea Frank, and Howard Eichenbaum. How does the Hippocampus integrate multiple related memory representations?Boston University Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Symposium, 2012.
- Blake Porter. The effects of effort on hippocampal spatial representations. Brain Health Research Center 10th Annual Conference, 2016.
- Blake Porter and David Bilkey. The network dynamics of effort encoding between the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex. Brain Health Research Center 9th Annual Conference, 2015.
- Blake Porter. The cost of space: How the brain works and maybe how it plans costly routes. Presentation at the University of Otago’s Abbey College, 2015.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Marsden Grant “Quit or persist? The neural mechanisms of forfeit behaviour ”
2017 – 2020
University of Otago
PhD Scholarship from the Marsden Grant “The Brain Mechanisms of Self-Control”
February 2014 – Present
University of Otago
New Zealand Neurological Foundation Travel Grant
Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research 2015 and 2016
UROP/HHMI Summer Grant for investigating “How Does the Hippocampus Integrate Multiple Related Memory Representations”
Research Teaching and Mentoring: Teaching students rodent behavioral training, stereotaxic surgery, and in vivo electrophysiology methods.
Advisees (their subsequent pursuit):
- Kate Godfrey (PhD, University of Auckland)
- Jessica Barton (MSc, Victoria University)
- Ian Heimbuch (PhD, UCLA)
- Brian Ferreri
Demonstrator at University of Otago
- Biopsychology (PSYC317)
Research Assistant in Dr. Mike Colombo’s lab for the Neural Basis of Learning and Memory
- Teaching histology and MATLAB programming
Mentor for Boston University Mind and Brain Society
Fall 2011 – Spring 2013
- Mentored incoming freshman in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program at BU.
Tutor at Tutor.com
October 2010 – September 2011
- Tutored online from kindergarten to college level in biology, natural sciences, and math.
Founder and CEO Long Term Potential Inc. May 2016 – Present
Focused on developing STEM education technologies for interactive learning
- Animal Behavior: Rat handling and training on context-object and odor-place associative memory tasks, effort modulated linear tracks, dual animal interaction task. Video behavioural scoring (Cineplex Editor) and behavioural spatial tracking analysis (Matlab). Designing and implementing novel tasks targeted at effort based neural computations.
- In vivo electrophysiology: 8 – 96 channel microdrive design and construction for multisite recordings using conventional and 3D printing techniques. Implementation of wireless in vivo recording systems and methods. Stereotaxic surgical implantation of microdrives and electrodes for single unit and local field potential recordings in awake-behaving rats targeting hippocampal subregions (CA1, CA3, DG), medial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. Recording single units and local field potentials in awake-behaving rats, spike sorting, and perfusions.
- How the brain encodes effort, how it is effort modulates the brain’s representations of the world, and how effort influences goal setting, decision making, and persistence.
- Brain rhythms and their underlying mechanisms in order to investigate circuit level communication between the hippocampus and downstream structures, particularly the prefrontal cortex.
- How brain structures organize similar and distinct memories and how memory organization influences learning and decision making.
- How the brain represents space in three dimensions when the z-axis is behaviourally relevant.