Anja Zai

PhD Student
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I have received my master’s degree in physics from ETH Zurich. During my master I worked on a system for reconstructing the analog waveform of an input sound from the recorded spike trains of an artificial silicon cochlea. For my master thesis I shifted my attention towards neuroscience and studied reinforcement learning in songbirds.
My PhD project tries to shed light on the question how behavioral variability can be used for learning new motor tasks and for improving already learned ones. The project combines behavioral experiments, data analysis and computational modeling.



  • D. Lipkind, A.T. Zai, A. Hanuschkin, G.F. Marcus, O. Tchernichovski, R.H.R. Hahnloser Songbirds work around computational complexity by learning song vocabulary independently of sequence., Nature Communication, 8:(2147), 2017
  • Homare Yamahachi, Anja T. Zai, Ryosuke O. Tachibana, Anna E. Stepien, Diana I. Rodrigues, Sophie Cavé-Lopez, Gagan Narula, Juneseung Lee, Ziqiang Huang, Heiko Hörster, Daniel Düring, Richard H. R. Hahnloser Welfare of zebra finches used in research, bioRxiv, 2017 pdf



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