RESEARCH 2018-09-19T15:16:49+00:00

Our Research

We use advanced electrophysiological and neurochemical techniques to examine the activity patterns of individual neurons as well as neuronal populations and how these are regulated via neurotransmitters (dopamine in particular). We have recently implemented the use of a sensor that allows for the simultaneous measurement of neuronal firing and neurotransmitter release. We complement this approach with modern neuroscience techniques such as opto and chemogenetics as well as calcium imaging in freely moving animals using mini-endoscope technology. These techniques are particularly useful for elucidating specific temporal relationships between behavior and brain activity.

Techniques

  • Optogenetics
  • Chemogenetics
  • Iontophoresis
  • Intra-cranial self-stimulation
  • Drug self-administration
  • Genetically encoded calcium indicators
  • Calcium imaging neuron microscopy
  • Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV)
  • Ensemble (multiple single-unit) recordings
  • Fiber Photometry
  • Combined FSCV and single-unit electrophysiology

Projects

Neural network dynamics in association with the onset and progression of Huntington’s Disease in a transgenic mouse model.

Endocannabinoid modulation of goal-directed behavior.

Endocannabinoid modulation of negative reinforcement.

The role of cannabinoid receptors in the synaptic basis of aversion learning  (in collaboration with Carl Lupica).

Serotonin/dopamine interactions (in collaboration with Marisela Morales).

The role of subsecond dopamine release in observational learning (in collaboration with Matt Roesch).