Michael Crair, PhD

William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science; Deputy Dean for Scientific Affairs (Basic Science Departments)

Research Departments & Organizations


Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Brain; Cerebral Cortex; Child Development; Nervous System; Neuronal Plasticity; Neurosciences; Synaptic Transmission; Visual Cortex

Research Summary

In the brains of mammals, birds and invertebrates, the sensory world is organized into regular neuronal arrays or maps. Common examples are the map of body surface in somatosensory cortex (the so called "homunculus") and the representation of oriented bars or edges in visual cortex.

We are interested in understanding how genes ('nature') and the environment ('nurture') interact to guide the development of neuronal maps. Our research focuses on development of the visual and somatosensory systems. We employ a broad range of experimental techniques, including neuroanatomy, molecular biology and biochemistry, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology as well as optical imaging.

This array of approaches allows us to examine neural circuit development from many perspectives, and provides synergistic impetus to our exploration of the cellular and molecular mechanisms for sensory map development.

Specialized Terms: Neural circuit development; Synapse formation; Visual system development; Cortex development

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Michael Crair, PhD
Lab Location
Sterling Hall of Medicine, B-Wing
333 Cedar Street, Ste SHM B-301

New Haven, CT 06510
Office Location
Sterling Hall of Medicine, B-Wing
333 Cedar Street, Ste SHM B-301

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
NeurosciencePO Box 208001
333 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8001

Curriculum Vitae

The Crair Laboratory

Spontaneous 'resting state' brain activity

Patterns of spontaneous brain activity in the neonatal mouse cortex

Mouse visual system cartoon

Pattern of projections from eye to brain in mice. Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon projections from the retina to the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus (LGN) and superior colliculus (SC) are mapped with respect to retinotopic origin. In the retinotopic map the D-V axis of the retina is mapped onto the L-M axis of the SC and the N-T axis of the retina is mapped onto the C-R axis of the SC. D, V, N, T: Dorsal, ventral, nasal, temporal. L, M, C, R: Lateral, medial, caudal, rostral.