The major goal of our research is to delineate the neural circuits involved in the manifestation of neuropsychiatric disorders including addiction, maladaptive eating behaviors, and anxiety.  To accomplish this, we take a multidisciplinary approach, relying on innovative neurotechniques to selectively perturb and monitor neural activity in genetically specified populations of mammalian neurons.


Neural circuit assembly

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Using synergistic methodologies such as confocal and two-photon microscopy, slice electrophysiology, and immunohistochemistry we aim to uncover the precise intrinsic wiring principles between molecularly defined subsets of neurons within the nervous system.

Imaging neural activity

We combine advanced functional imaging approaches, such as in vivo two-photon microscopy and endoscopic imaging, with computational strategies to define principles by which genetically defined neuronal networks encode aspects of behavior.

Neurocircuits and behavior

We determine how neural circuit elements directly regulate motivated behavioral states.  To accomplish this, we use in vivo optogenetics during automated measurements of  naturalistic behavior.