The Carter Lab
Center for Neural Science | New York University
Our lab studies neurons, synapses and circuits in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and related brain regions. These diverse networks contribute to high-level brain function, including both cognitive and motivated behaviors. Dysfunction of these areas is also linked to disorders such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and drug addiction. We broadly study how different populations of neurons communicate in their local and long-range networks. We also examine how different neurons and synapses are regulated by dopamine and other neuromodulators. Finally, we determine how these circuits are impacted by chronic exposure to drugs of abuse and stress. Our experiments use a powerful combination of electrophysiology, two-photon microscopy and optogenetics, both in vivo and ex vivo. We also take advantage of genetic tools, including viruses and transgenics, to characterize and manipulate specific neurons and connections.