Experimental systems neuroscience
Our goal is to understand basic principles of cortical computations, from the circuit to systems levels. We focus on understanding how the ethologically-relevant features of a sensory scene are extracted from the raw sensory flow, where this information is parsed, and how it guides complex behavior. One of our major projects is focused on primary (S1 or barrel cortex) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices in rodents that process information from their whiskers. We combine electrophysiology with multielectrode neural probes, local optogenetics stimulation with optoprobes, and monitoring of neurochemicals with chemprobes to record neural activity while animals actively navigate in virtual reality and solve behavioral tasks. Correlations of brain activity with animal behavior and choices provide insights on mechanisms of cortical processing.
NIH R01 BRAIN Initiative