GSU professor gets grant to study how brain processes information

Credit: Georgia State University

Credit: Georgia State University

NIH-funded research will explain what happens when the process goes wrong

Hamm and his research partner, Darcy Peterka of Columbia University, are working with mice to better understand how the brain processes information. This has the potential to help scientists develop better treatments for psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia.

The study looks at what happens when the brain mis-interprets new information in relation to past experiences.

Knowing what neurons are normally responsible for communication that goes the way it’s supposed to can be used to better understand the causes of psychiatric disorders that result when this internal communication breaks down. Then, researchers can develop treatments that target those specific parts of the brain.

This is Hamm’s second NIH Research Project grant. Competition for this grant is fierce, and the money is awarded to projects that show promise to improve public health.

“I feel very grateful to the individuals who trained me, to Georgia State, who hired me and believed in my vision,” Hamm said. " But I’m most grateful for the individuals who work in my lab... they do incredible, detailed, careful work which got the preliminary data to prove that this [research is] possible.”