Guo, Zengcai

Associate Professor, Medical School, Tsinghua University
PI, IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University
Office Phone: +86-10-62792669

[Research Focus]

My first encounter with neuroscience was as an applied math graduate student. I was amazed by the rich behavioral repertoire of the roundworm C. elegans, which has a small nervous system of only 302 neurons. Just a few dozen motor neurons are sufficient to coordinate the worm to move elegantly, while a few sensory and interneurons guide the animal to track chemical gradients. The mammalian brain, with millions to billions of neurons, is far more complicated and capable than a small nematode. High-level cognitive functions such as working memory, decision-making and consciousness are the biggest mysteries in the complicated nervous system. The long-term goal of our research is to understand how neural circuits in the mammalian brain implement these cognitive functions. To do so, we integrate optogenetics, multi-electrode recordings, two-photon optical imaging, and behavioral measurements to probe the neural dynamics underlying perceptual decision-making behaviors.

[Education & Experience]

2015-present     PI, IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University
2015-present     Assistant professor, Medical School, Tsinghua University
2010-2015         Postdoctoral Associate, HHMI's Janelia Research Campus
2004-2010         PhD, Applied Mathematics, Harvard University
2002-2004         MS, Solid Mechanics, Tsinghua University
1998-2002         BS, Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University

[Selected Publications]

  • ZV Guo*, HK Inagaki, K Daie, S Druckmann, CR Gerfen and K Svoboda. Maintenance of persistent activity in a frontal thalamocortical loop. Nature. 2017. 545, 181-186.
  • N Li, T Chen, ZV Guo, CR Gerfen and K Svoboda. A motor cortex circuit for motor planning and movement. Nature. 2015, 519, 51-56.
  • ZV Guo*, SA Hires, N Li, DH, O’Connor, T Komiyama, E. Ophir, D Huber, C Bonardi, K Morandell, D Gutnisky, S Peron, N Xu, J Cox, K Svoboda. Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice. Plos one. 2014, 9(2): e88678.
  • ZV Guo*, N Li, D Huber, E Ophir, D Gutnisky, JT Ting, G Feng and K Svoboda. Flow of cortical activity underlying a tactile decision in mice. Neuron. 2014, 81, 179-94.
  • DH O’Connor, SA Hires, ZV Guo, N Li, J Yu, Q Sun, D Huber and K Svoboda. Neural coding during active somatosensation revealed using illusory touch. Nature Neuroscience. 2013, 16, 958-965.
  • Z Wei, ZV Guo, L Dudte, H Liang and L Mahadevan. Geometric mechanics of periodic pleated origami. Physical Review Letters. 2013, 110, 215501-5.