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  • Computational Neuroscience Laboratory

    In the computational neuroscience Laboratory, we construct quantitative models of biological nervous systems that are firmly based on their neurophysiology, neuroanatomy and behavior, and that are developed in close interaction with experimentalists. Our main interest is neuronal function at the system level, reflecting the interaction of subsystems to generate useful behavior. Modeling is particularly important for understanding this and other system-level functions, since it requires the interaction of several pathways and neural functions. One of the functions we study is selective attention--that is, the capability of higher animals to scan sensory input for the most important information and to discard all other. Models of the neuronal basis of visual selective attention are constructed by simulating them on digital computers and comparing the results with data obtained from the visual and somatosensory systems of primates. We pay particular attention to the mechanisms involving the implementation of neural mechanisms that make use of the temporal structure of neuronal firing, rather than just the average firing rate.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Ernst Niebur, Ph.D., M.Sc.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Christopher Potter Lab

    The Christopher Potter Lab functions at an intersection between systems and cellular neuroscience. We are interested in how neurons and circuits function in the brain to achieve a common goal (olfaction), but we also develop, utilize and build tools (molecular and genetic) that allow us to directly alter neuronal functions in a living organism. The specific focus of my laboratory is to understand how the insect brain receives, interprets, and responds to odors. Insects rely on their sense of smell for all major life choices, from foraging to mating, from choosing where to lay eggs to avoiding predators and dangers. We are interested in understanding at the neuronal level how odors regulate these behaviors. Our long-term aim is to apply this knowledge to better control insects that pose a threat to human health. Our general approach towards achieving this goal is to develop and employ new genetic methods that enable unprecedented control over neural circuits in both the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Christopher J. Potter, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Clinical and Computational Auditory neuroscience

    Our laboratory investigates the neural bases of sound processing in the human brain. We combine electrophysiology recordings (intracranial, scalp), behavioral paradigms, and statistical modeling methods to study the cortical dynamics of normal and impaired auditory perception. We are interested in measuring and modeling variability in spatiotemporal cortical response patterns as a function of individual listening abilities and acoustic sound properties. Current studies are investigating the role of high-frequency (>30 Hz) neural oscillations in human auditory perception.

    Principal Investigator

    Dana Boatman, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

    Research Areas

  • Systems Neurobiology Laboratory

    The Systems neurobiology Laboratory is a group of laboratories that all study various aspects of neurobiology. These laboratories include: (1) computational neurobiology Laboratory: The goal of their research is to build bridges between brain levels from the biophysical properties of synapses to the function of neural systems. (2) computational Principles of Natural Sensory Processing: Research in this lab focuses on the computational principles of how the brain processes information. (3) Laboratory for Cognitive neuroscience: This laboratory studies the neural and genetic underpinnings of language and cognition. (4) Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical neurobiology: The goal of this laboratory is develop a theoretical infrastructure for modern experimental neurobiology. (5) Organization and development of visual cortex: This laboratory is studying the organization and function of neural circuits in the visual cortex to understand how specific neural components enable visual perception and to elucidate the basic neural mechanisms that underlie cortical function. (6) Neural mechanism of selective visual attention: This laboratory studies the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention at the level of the individual neuron and cortical circuit, and relates these findings to perception and conscious awareness. (7) Neural basis of vision: This laboratory studies how sensory signals in the brain become integrated to form neuronal representation of the objects that people see.
  • Raul Chavez-Valdez Lab

    Dr. Raul Chavez-Valdez is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics with great interest in the mechanisms of delayed injury and repair/regeneration in the developing neonatal brain following injury, specifically following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (birth asphyxia). He collaborates with Dr. Frances Northington (Pediatrics) and Dr. Lee Martin (Pathology/Neuroscience) in unveiling the importance of programmed necrosis in the setting of brain injury induced by birth asphyxia. He is especially interested in the role of brain derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-4 following birth asphyxia and the changes that may explain the suspected excitatory/ inhibitory (E/I) imbalance particularly in the hippocampus. His work is highly translational since delayed hippocampal injury due to E/I imbalance may explain memory deficits observed despite therapeutic hypothermia in neonates suffering birth asphyxia. All of these aspects of developmental neuroplasticity are the base of his Career Development Award (NIH/NINDS-K08 award) and applications to other agencies. Additionally, he is part of multiple clinical efforts as part of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Nursery (NICN). He has been a Sutland-Pakula Endowed Fellow of Neonatal Research since September 2013.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Raul Chavez Valdez, M.D.

    Department

    Pediatrics

  • Jantzie Lab

    Dr. Jantzie, associate professor, received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from the University of Alberta in 2008. In 2013 she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School and became faculty at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Jantzie then joined the faculty Departments of Pediatrics (Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine) and Neurology at Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in January 2019. Her lab investigates the pathophysiology of encephalopathy of prematurity, and pediatric brain injury common to infants and toddlers. Dr. Jantzie is dedicated to understanding disease processes in the developing brain as a means to identifying new therapeutic strategies and treatment targets for perinatal brain injury. Her lab studies neural substrates of cognition and executive function, inhibitory circuit formation, the role of an abnormal intrauterine environment on brain development, mechanisms of neurorepair and microglial activation and polarization. Using a diverse array of clinically relevant techniques such as MRI, cognitive assessment, and biomarker discovery, combined with traditional molecular and cellular biology, the Jantzie lab is on the front lines of translational pediatric neuroscience.?

    Principal Investigator

    Lauren Leigh Jantzie, Ph.D.

    Department

    Pediatrics

  • Vikram Chib Lab

    The goals of the Vikram Chib Lab are to understand how the nervous system organizes the control of movement and how incentives motivate our behaviors. To better understand neurobiological control, our researchers are seeking to understand how motivational cues drive our motor actions. We use an interdisciplinary approach that combines robotics with the fields of neuroscience and economics to examine neuroeconomics and decision making, motion and force control, haptics and motor learning, image-guided surgery and soft-tissue mechanics.
  • Brain Science Institute (BSi)

    The Brain Science Institute (BSi) brings together both basic and clinical neuroscientists from across the Johns Hopkins campuses. The BSi represents one of the largest and most diverse groups in the university. The BSi's mission is to solve fundamental questions about brain development and function and to use these insights to understand the mechanisms of brain disease. This new knowledge will provide the catalyst for the facilitation and development of effective therapies. The goals of our research are to foster new programs in basic neuroscience discovery; initiate a translational research program that will develop new treatments for brain-based diseases; and encourage collaboration, interdisciplinary teams, and new thinking that will have a global influence on research and treatment of the nervous system.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Kechen Zhang Laboratory

    The research in the Kecken Zhang Laboratory is focused on theoretical and computational neuroscience. We use mathematical analysis and computer simulations to study the nervous system at multiple levels, from realistic biophysical models to simplified neuronal networks. Several of our current research projects involve close collaborations with experimental neuroscience laboratories.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Kechen Zhang, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biomedical Engineering

  • O'Connor Lab

    How do brain dynamics give rise to our sensory experience of the world? The O'Connor lab works to answer this question by taking advantage of the fact that key architectural features of the mammalian brain are similar across species. This allows us to leverage the power of mouse genetics to monitor and manipulate genetically and functionally defined brain circuits during perception. We train mice to perform simple perceptual tasks. By using quantitative behavior, optogenetic and chemical-genetic gain- and loss-of-function perturbations, in vivo two-photon imaging, and electrophysiology, we assemble a description of the relationship between neural circuit function and perception. We work in the mouse tactile system to capitalize on an accessible mammalian circuit with a precise mapping between the sensory periphery and multiple brain areas. Our mission is to reveal the neural circuit foundations of sensory perception; to provide a framework to understand how circuit dysfunction causes mental and behavioral aspects of neuropsychiatric illness; and to help others fulfill creative potential and contribute to human knowledge.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Daniel H. O'Connor, Ph.D., M.A.

    Department

    Neuroscience