The question that drives our lab’s research is, how do neurons work together to generate the complex, coordinated, sequenced series of commands that drive behavior?
To answer this question, we record or perturb large numbers of neurons in the brains of behaving animals, then design novel analyses to characterize the neural system. To have close ties with behavior, we focus on the motor system, sensory feedback, and how simple decisions inform movement. In addition, we ask how these different systems communicate and act as parts of a larger whole.
We are particularly interested in mammalian neocortex, and the lab’s experiments use mice. On the experimental side, we combine sophisticated behavioral paradigms, two-photon imaging, widefield imaging, electrophysiology (coming soon), and optogenetics. This allows us to access or alter the activity of hundreds or thousands of neurons during interesting behaviors. We then approach our analyses particularly from the state space / dynamical systems perspective, but also leveraging statistical, deep learning, and other machine-learning methods.
In addition, we maintain a variety of active collaborations in other systems, including Drosophila larvae, monkeys, humans, and deep neural networks.