Eric Yttri, PhD

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Neuroscience
Picture of Eric Yttri




Personal Website

Education & Training

PhD, Washington University, St. Louis (2011)


243 Mellon Institute

Research Interest Summary

Cross-brain circuit dynamics that underlie motor decision making in trained and naturalistic mouse behavior

The Yttri lab interrogates the functional interactions of the motor circuit (motor cortex, basal ganglia, midbrain dopamine nuclei) that lead to skilled behavior. Our research approach is inclusive yet specific: interrogating the functional interactions between areas in a manner more typical of cognitive neuroscience (e.g. fMRI) while also identifying the computational contributions of individual cell types within each region. We combine a diverse set of tools to determine the neural mechanisms of motor behavior and movement diseases: Behavioral (reaching task in a mouse, quantitative open-field locomotion, Parkinson’s disease models) Physiological (50, 100 and 1000 channel electrodes, blue and red shifted channel rhodopsins, closed-loop stimulation, and Computational (dynamical systems analyses of neural population activity and machine learning-based categorization of behavior). These methods allow us sample and manipulate the neural activity of multiple areas simultaneous in our effort to understand the mechanisms of motor behavior and movement diseases

Representative Publications

Yttri EA, Dudman JT. Opponent and bidirectional selection of movement parameters in the basal ganglia. Nature, 533 (7568), 402–406, 2016.

Yttri EA, Dudman JT. A proposed circuit computation in basal ganglia: history dependent gain. Movement Disorders, 33 (5), 704-716, 2018.

Gittis AH, Yttri EA. Translating insights from optogenetics to therapies for Parkinson’s disease. Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, 8, 14-19, 2018.

Belsey P, Nicholas MA, Yttri EA. Open-source joystick manipulandum for decision-making, reaching, and motor control studies in mice and rats. eNeuro, 7(2), e0523-19, 2020.

Geramita MA, Yttri EA, Ahmari SE. The two‐step task, avoidance, and OCD. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 98 (6), 1007-1019, 2020.

Bong H, Venture V, Yttri EA, Smith MA, Kass RE. Latent Cross-population Dynamic Time-series Analysis of High-dimensional Neural Recordings. arXiv, 2021.

Hsu AI, Yttri EA. B-SOiD, an open-source unsupervised algorithm for identification and fast prediction of behaviors. Nature Communications, 2021.