My research is focused on identifying how experience modulates activity dynamics in neural circuits, both acutely and chronically. I aim to develop new methods and use these in combination with modern techniques such as optogenetics and in-vivo calcium imaging to understand the sources of adaptive and maladaptive plasticity that drive normal and pathophysiological behaviors. These include reward/aversion processing in normal appetitive behaviors, drug addiction, neurodegeneration, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. I will also employ cutting-edge viral-genetic methods to map brain state-dependent activity in connected neural ensembles, and use this information to infer how our brain state drives us to perform particular behaviors. I also aim to take novel approaches to interrogating the sources of individual behavioral variation in neuropsychiatric conditions such as addiction, anxiety, and depression.
Key Research Areas:
Neuroscience, Neural Circuits, Neural plasticity, Molecular Neuroscience, Behavior, Technique Development, Viral-genetic