Cellular mechanisms of multi-modal integration
Most neurons in the neocortex are bombarded with hundreds of inputs representing different senses, memories of past events or internal drives. Our goal is to understand how individual cells and networks of neurons integrate electrical and biochemical signals arriving from these different modalities. The lab combines whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology with dual-color optogenetic stimulation and 2-photon imaging to map multi-modal circuits in acute brain slices. Then, we employ optical methods to study how the attributes of these neural circuits translate into cognitive behavior.
Stress induced cognitive impairment
It is well known that chronic stress degrades our cognitive abilities; eroding memory, impairing decision making and debilitating social interaction. However, we still do not have sufficient understanding of how stress induced changes in cellular signaling affect neural circuits and how these physiologycal changes lead to cognitive deficits. This hinders both the development of effective treatments and prevention strategies. Our goal is to gain deeper understanding of the cellular mechanisms of stress induced degradation of cognitive performance.