Center for Neural Science | New York University
Our lab studies neurons, synapses and circuits in the prefrontal cortex, thalamus, striatum, and related brain regions. These diverse networks contribute to high-level brain function, including 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 specific neurons and synapses are regulated by dopamine and other neuromodulators. Finally, we determine how these distinct circuits are engaged during rewarding and aversive behaviors. Our experiments make use of a 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.