Bio


I am currently a post-doc in the Ganguli Lab (Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University) where I study theoretical neurobiology, in particular the effects of synaptic plasticity mechanisms on learning and memory.

Before this, I was a post-doc in the Samuel Lab (Department of Physics and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University) where I studied brain and behavior in the Drosophila larva and C. elegans.

Prior to that, I was a graduate student in the High Energy Theory Group (Department of Physics, Harvard University) where I studied string theory, using the AdS/CFT correspondence to investigate black hole thermodynamics, especially in the fluid mechanics regime.

Honors & Awards


  • Outstanding Paper Award, Neural Information Processing Systems (December 2013)
  • Certificate of distinction in teaching, Harvard University (Spring 2008)
  • Scott Prize for best performance in M.Phys. examination, Oxford University (2003)

Professional Education


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University, Physics (2009)
  • Master of Physics, University of Oxford, Physics (2003)

Stanford Advisors


Current Research and Scholarly Interests


I am interested in most aspects of theoretical neurobiology. I am currently studying the role of complex synapses in learning and memory.

Our brains store long term memories by adjusting the strengths of the synapses that connect neurons. The tendency for new memories to overwrite old ones leads to a trade-off between learning and remembering: if synapses are too plastic older memories will be wiped out too easily, if they are too rigid it becomes difficult to learn new memories in the first place. I am studying theoretical models of synapses to understand how their internal structure can be used to balance these effects and maximize their memory storage.

Lab Affiliations


Journal Articles


  • Statistical mechanics of complex neural systems and high dimensional data JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT Advani, M., Lahiri, S., Ganguli, S. 2013
  • Two Alternating Motor Programs Drive Navigation in Drosophila Larva PLOS ONE Lahiri, S., Shen, K., Klein, M., Tang, A., Kane, E., Gershow, M., Garrity, P., Samuel, A. D. 2011; 6 (8)

    Abstract

    When placed on a temperature gradient, a Drosophila larva navigates away from excessive cold or heat by regulating the size, frequency, and direction of reorientation maneuvers between successive periods of forward movement. Forward movement is driven by peristalsis waves that travel from tail to head. During each reorientation maneuver, the larva pauses and sweeps its head from side to side until it picks a new direction for forward movement. Here, we characterized the motor programs that underlie the initiation, execution, and completion of reorientation maneuvers by measuring body segment dynamics of freely moving larvae with fluorescent muscle fibers as they were exposed to temporal changes in temperature. We find that reorientation maneuvers are characterized by highly stereotyped spatiotemporal patterns of segment dynamics. Reorientation maneuvers are initiated with head sweeping movement driven by asymmetric contraction of a portion of anterior body segments. The larva attains a new direction for forward movement after head sweeping movement by using peristalsis waves that gradually push posterior body segments out of alignment with the tail (i.e., the previous direction of forward movement) into alignment with the head. Thus, reorientation maneuvers during thermotaxis are carried out by two alternating motor programs: (1) peristalsis for driving forward movement and (2) asymmetric contraction of anterior body segments for driving head sweeping movement.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0023180

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293953700006

    View details for PubMedID 21858019

  • Lumps of plasma in arbitrary dimensions JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS Bhattacharya, J., Lahiri, S. 2010
  • Large rotating AdS black holes from fluid mechanics JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS Bhattacharyya, S., Lahiri, S., Loganayagam, R., Minwalla, S. 2008
  • Plasmarings as dual black rings JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS Lahiri, S., Minwalla, S. 2008
  • Supersymmetric states of N=4 Yang-Mills from giant gravitons JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS Biswas, I., Gaiotto, D., Lahiri, S., Minwalla, S. 2007

Conference Proceedings


  • A memory frontier for complex synapses Neural Information Processing Systems Lahiri, S., Ganguli, S. 2013: 1034-1042

Presentations


  • Modelling impaired and enhanced learning with enhanced plasticity

    Time Period

    March 1, 2014

    Presented To

    Computational and Systems Neuroscience

    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    For More Information:

  • A memory frontier for complex synapses Surya Ganguli

    Time Period

    12/5/2013 - 12/8/2013

    Presented To

    Neural Information Processing Systems

    Location

    Lake Tahoe NV

    Collaborators

    • Surya Ganguli, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and, by courtesy, of Neurobiology and of Electrical Engineering

    For More Information:

  • Understanding impaired learning with enhanced plasticity T.D. Barbara Nguyen-Vu, Grace Zhao, Aparna Suvrathan, Surya Ganguli, Carla Shatz, Jennifer Raymond

    Time Period

    7/26/2013 - 7/28/2013

    Presented To

    Sloan-Swartz Centers for Theoretical Neurobiology Annual Meeting

    Location

    Brandeis University, Waltham MA

    Collaborators

    • Grace Zhao, Casual - Non-Exempt, Neurobiology
    • Aparna Suvrathan, Postdoctoral Research fellow, Neurobiology
    • Surya Ganguli, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and, by courtesy, of Neurobiology and of Electrical Engineering
    • Carla Shatz, Sapp Family Provostial Professor, David Starr Jordan Director, Stanford Bio-X and Professor of Biology and of Neurobiology
    • Jennifer Raymond, Associate Professor of Neurobiology

    For More Information:

  • A general theory of learning and memory with complex synapses Surya Ganguli

    Time Period

    2/28/2013 - 3/3/2013

    Presented To

    Computational and Systems Neuroscience

    Location

    Salt Lake City UT

    Collaborators

    • Surya Ganguli, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and, by courtesy, of Neurobiology and of Electrical Engineering
  • Learning and memory with complex synapses Surya Ganguli

    Time Period

    6/27/2012 - 6/29/2012

    Presented To

    Sloan-Swartz Centers for Theoretical Neurobiology Annual Meeting

    Location

    UC San Diego, La Jolla CA

    Collaborators

    • Surya Ganguli, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and, by courtesy, of Neurobiology and of Electrical Engineering
  • Black rings from Fluid mechanics

    Time Period

    3/6/2009

    Presented To

    Harvard University, High Energy Theory Group

    Location

    16 Oxford St, Cambridge MA

    For More Information:

  • Giant gravitons and the supersymmetric states of N= 4 Yang-Mills

    Time Period

    1/8/2007 - 1/19/2007

    Presented To

    1st Asian Winter School on String Theory

    Location

    KIAS, Seoul, S.Korea

    For More Information: