Briefly Balanced

Research in the computational neuroscience of spatial memory

Joseph D. Monaco, Ph.D.

As a postdoctoral research scientist at Johns Hopkins University, I've been working jointly with the Knierim laboratory at the Mind/Brain Institute and the Zhang laboratory at the Biomedical Engineering Department. The Knierim lab uses in vivo electrophysiology in rats to study neural representations of space in the hippocampus and associated brain areas while the animals explore new and familiar environments. Further, I develop computational models in collaboration with the Zhang lab to study the neural network circuits underlying spatial information processing in order to provide complementary insight into the recording data.

Recent Research

Monaco JD, Blair HT, and Zhang K. (2015). Spatial rate/phase correlations in theta cells can stabilize randomly drifting path integrators. Cosyne 2015. Salt Lake City, UT. March 2015. [poster, paper]

Monaco J, Blair HT, and Zhang K. (2014). Spatial rate/phase codes provide landmark-based error correction in a temporal model of theta cells. Neuroscience 2014, 752.07/UU25. Washington, D.C. November 2014. [poster, figshare, github]


Wang CH, Rao G, Monaco JD, Deshmukh SS, and Knierim JJ. (2014). Potentiation of place fields along the CA1 transverse axis by investigatory head-scanning behavior. Neuroscience 2014, 848.15/UU30. Washington, D.C. November 2014.


Monaco JD, Rao G, Roth ED, and Knierim JJ. (2014). Attentive scanning behavior drives one-trial potentiation of hippocampal place fields. Nature Neuroscience, 17(5), 725–731. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3687


Monaco J, Rao G, and Knierim JJ. (2013). Scanning behavior in novel environments promotes de novo formation of hippocampal place fields in rats. Neuroscience 2013, 670.07/JJJ44. San Diego, CA. November 2013. [poster]