Research topic: Studying how ensembles of neurons from different nuclei of the brain (both cortical and sub-cortical) collaboratively process taste information to drive behavior, and how experience adaptively change their activity.
Research methods: in-vivo (rat) multichannel extracellular electrophysiology, optogenetics, pure behavior studies and computer simulations. Data analysis goes beyond the regular single neuron level and utilize sophisticated statistical models such as Hidden Markov models (HMM) to probe changes to neural ensemble state dynamics.
Projects in the lab include:
- Studying how the amygdala, and specifically the basolateral amygdala (BLA), is involved in shaping cortical neuronal ensemble dynamics during taste processing
- Studying how the BLA influences gustatory cortex (GC) ensemble taste processing during acquisition of emotional learning
- Studying how learning-related BLA and GC responses change when synaptic plasticity in one brain region is inhibited during memory retention