A multidisciplinary approach focused on the neural circuits that control action selection and evaluation.
Our lab studies specific genetically defined circuits within the basal ganglia, a group of phylogenetically conserved structures in the all vertebrates. Our main focus is understanding how these circuits guide motivated behaviors, control goal-directed motor actions, and how they are affected in disease. With expertise in electrophysiology, molecular biology, genetics, in-vivo optogenetics, behavioral and imaging methods, as well as computational modeling and programming, we apply a diverse range of cutting-edge techniques and knowledge of basal ganglia function to determine the synaptic and circuit underpinnings of behavior. Our long-term goal is to understand how activity in the basal ganglia guide motivated behaviors and control motor action, and how perturbation of these processes contribute to human disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, depression and drug addiction.