Neuronal systems in the brain that use dopamine as their chemical messenger have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of neurological and mental disorders, including Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. Most of the pharmacological treatments for these disorders alter dopamine system functioning. We have been studying the site and mechanism of action of these drugs, as well as fundamental aspects of central dopamine system functioning and its control, both intra- and extracellular.
Our current approaches include the use of variety of electrophysiological, electrochemical, and anatomical techniques applied both in vivo and in vitro. Because of a strong interest in neurological and mental disorders related to presumed dopaminergic system malfunctioning, consideration of the potential relevance of all research findings to these disorders is an important aspect of the training received in this laboratory.