Research & Publications
I am interested in how neurons in the brain communicate with each other, and how that communication leads to perception and behavior. We study how the brain represents and interprets what the eyes see, and how changes in the pattern of brain activity can change what is perceived.
Specialized Terms: Neuroscience; Cortex; Inhibitory interneuron; Oscillation; Electrophysiology; Vision; Schizophrenia; Epilepsy; Intracellular; Network
Extensive Research Description
A second project is using combined optogenetics and chronic tetrode recordings in awake behaving animals. We are recording patterns of visually evoked activity during awake visual behavior and testing the impact of changing inhibitory or excitatory activity on visual perception.
A third focus is to explore the cellular mechanisms of gain control in the brain. Gain is the amplification of inputs into outputs, and can be thought of as a 'volume control' for neurons. Gain modulation allows neurons to scale their output to any range of incoming inputs. This process is well documented across the brain, but very little is known about the underlying cellular mechanisms. We are exploring the role of synchrony between neurons as a mechanism for gain control in vivo.
In addition to exploring neural dynamics in the healthy brain, we are also interested in the mechanisms of neural dysregulation during disease. Using animal models, we are studying the roles that different populations of inhibitory interneurons may play in schizophrenia. We are also studying the initiation of epilepsy and how it may be controlled with new techniques for regulating neural activity.
Autistic Disorder; Cerebral Cortex; Electrophysiology; Epilepsy; Interneurons; Neurobiology; Neurosciences; Schizophrenia