Background and activities

Jonathan Whitlock is head of the Whitlock research group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience. His focus is on unraveling how higher motor systems in cortex coordinate natural behavior and permit social learning. His group studies these phenomena by combining quantitative behavioral tracking with neuronal ensemble recordings in freely-behaving rats and mice. The group uses optogenetics and neuroanatomical methods to better understand the function and connectivity of relevant circuits, and has both local and international collaborations toward the development of statistical and machine learning-based analyses of high-dimensional neural and behavioral data.

Beyond the lab, Whitlock currently coordinates the Master's program in Neuroscience at the Kavli Institute, and organizes the Institute's course in Physiological Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.

His group strarted at the Kavli Institute in 2014 under the auspices of an ERC starting grant, prior to which he was a Kavli post-doctoral fellow with Edvard and May-Britt Moser, studying navigational representations across parietal and entorhinal cortices. Prior to moving to Trondheim, he was a graduate student of Mark Bear at Brown University and MIT, with his thesis work demonstrating that synaptic connections in the hippocampus grew stronger as a consequence of single-trial learning in rats.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


Part of book/report

  • Whitlock, Jonathan; Moser, Edvard Ingjald. (2009) Synaptic Plasticity and Spatial Representations in the Hippocampus. The Cognitive Neurosciences, 4th Edition.


  • Whitlock, Jonathan. (2019) AI-assisted detection of 3D behavior in freely running rodents. Intern fagdag om kunstig intelligens i Helsedirektoratet . Helsedirektoratet; Oslo. 2019-01-17.
  • Whitlock, Jonathan. (2014) “How your brain geotags memories”. TEDx Trondheim, “Matters of the Mind”, Trondheim, Norway ; 2014-04-29.