The nervous system is remarkably complex and little is known about how the brain coordinates complex behavioral outputs. Neurological and psychiatric disorders are leading causes of health problems in modern societies, and they arise from malfunction of the nervous system in coordinating such behaviors. These conditions are devastating and the mechanisms behind their pathophysiology are largely unsolved.
Our lab aims to identify the cellular, molecular and circuit-level mechanisms that play a role in behavior. Focusing on animal models (mostly mice), we have been applying and inventing a variety of tools to manipulate cell function in combination with electrophysiological, biochemical, morphological and behavioral analyzes. Our view is that the brain mechanisms involved in decision-making and executive functions (the set of mechanisms responsible to regulate and organize flexible goal-directed behaviors) are evolutionarily conserved and phylogenetically old.