Project List

Brain Microcircuits

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We carry out research on nerve cells as complex integrative systems.  The current experimental approaches with our colleagues include in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, and high-resolution functional brain imaging.  In this work we use the olfactory pathway as a model system.


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Through our integrative approach our lab is pioneering in the development of neuroinformatics.  The SenseLab Project contains 9 databases to facilitate the integration of multidisciplinary data, including over 14,000 olfactory receptor-like genes and 900 computational models.  We are building tools to organize and navigate functional connectomes.   CellPropDB, NeuronDB, ModelDB, MicrocircuitDB, 3DModelDB, ORDB, OdorDB, OdorMapDB, ORModelDB, BrainPharm

The SenseLab Project

Computational Modeling

Our lab has pioneered applying realistic computational modeling methods to experimental data, to reveal mechanisms of information processing in dendritic spines, dendritic trees, and cortical microcircuits.  Our methods include 3D models and the first 3D printer neurons.

Computational Modeling Video

Cortical evolution

The earliest mammalian brains were dominated by olfactory cortex.  We are developing evidence that the basic functional principles are embedded in neocortex.


Recognition of odor images, and the importance of retronasal smell, are giving us a new understanding of how the brain creates the perception of food flavor.  This is contributing to the current intense interest in brain mechanisms underlying healthy eating and disorders such as obesity.

How the Brain Creates Flavor from Food


The neurogastronomical approach is also giving rise to a new scientific understanding of how the brain creates the taste of wine.

How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine

Neuroscience History

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We stand on the shoulders of giants.  This perspective has been explored in studies of the founding of the neuron doctrine, the rise of modern neuroscience in the 1950s, the origins of brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience, and a biography in preparation of John Farquhar Fulton.