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  • 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. view less

    Research Areas: brain, mental illness, neuroscience, perception

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

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

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Sarah Clever Lab

    Work in the Sarah Clever Lab focuses on medical education, patient-provider communication and the role of shared decision-making in patient recovery. We recently examined the ethical dilemmas of caring for “influential” patients whose attributes and characteristics (for example, social status, occupation, or position), coupled with their behavior, have the potential to significantly affect a clinician's judgment or actions.

    Research Areas: medical education, medical decision making, patient-provider relationships

    Principal Investigator

    Sarah Clever, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Shanthini Sockanathan Laboratory

    The Shanthini Sockanathan Laboratory uses the developing spinal cord as our major paradigm to define the mechanisms that maintain an undifferentiated progenitor state and the molecular pathways that trigger their differentiation into neurons and glia. The major focus of the lab is the study of a new family of six-transmembrane proteins (6-TM GDEs) that play key roles in regulating neuronal and glial differentiation in the spinal cord. We recently discovered that the 6-TM GDEs release GPI-anchored proteins from the cell surface through cleavage of the GPI-anchor. This discovery identifies 6-TM GDEs as the first vertebrate membrane bound GPI-cleaving enzymes that work at the cell surface to regulate GPI-anchored protein function. Current work in the lab involves defining how the 6-TM GDEs regulate cellular signaling events that control neuronal and glial differentiation and function, with a major focus on how GDE dysfunction relates to the onset and progression of disease. To solve the...se questions, we use an integrated approach that includes in vivo models, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, genetics and behavior. view less

    Research Areas: glia, biochemistry, neurons, imaging, developmental biology, genomics, spinal cord, behavior, molecular biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Shanthini Sockanathan, D.Phil.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute

    The Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute is dedicated to the study of the neural mechanisms of higher brain functions using modern neurophysiological, anatomical and computational techniques. Our researchers use various approaches to understand information processing and its influence on perception, memory, abstract thought, complex behavior and consciousness. Systems and cognitive laboratories use neurophysiology, brain imaging and psychophysics to develop a quantitative, network-level understanding of cognitive information processing. Other researchers use analytical approaches such as system identification, dimensionality reduction, information theory and network modeling to understand information processing. Other areas of research in the Institute include the study of how visual and tactile information processing leads to perception and understanding of two- and three-dimensional objects. Another focus is on neural processing and recognition of speech and other complex sounds. St...ill other laboratories study neural mechanisms of attention, memory formation, motor learning, decision-making and executive control of behavior. view less

    Research Areas: brain, neurophysiology, consciousness, neuroscience, perception

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Charles Connor, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

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