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  1. Cortical Circuits



    The neocortex plays a key role in sensory perception and higher cognitive functions. Unraveling how this seemingly simple sheet of neurons allows so many complex behaviors is one of the great challenges of neuroscience. Our overall goal is to understand the neural computations underlying cortical function. We approach this question by a combination of novel in vivo and in vitro methods to study the structure and function of cortical circuits. Using optical and electrophysiological techniques in brain slices we study the wiring diagram of cortical circuits. We also measure the activity of the same circuits in head-fixed behaving animals using two-photon imaging. This combined approach allows us to understand both the computations implemented by cortical circuits as well as how they emerge from the underlying neuronal network. By using this approach we will test whether conserved circuits motifs perform similar computations across the neocortex. We will study the functional and structural similarities of repeated subnetworks made by neighboring neurons within a cortical area as well as those constituted by neurons in different cortical areas interacting through long-range cortico-cortical connections.

    Channelrhodopsin-2-assisted circuit mapping

Key publications