(Turn and face the strange*)
Our research is motivated by a desire to discover engineering-like principles that explain the design and function of brain-wide systems, with a focus on rodent-based experiments.
This program addresses how motor actions that underlie exploration and foraging, with emphasis on the orofacial sensorimotor systems, encode a stable world view through the coordinated movement of sensory organs and sensors. It includes decoding of changes in orientation and vibrissa and lingual touch in the presence of self-movement. The program includes anatomy, behavior, computational analysis, functional imaging, and electro- and opto-physiology components.
This program determines the vascular and lymphatic connectome for the brain and the nature of neuronal and vascular control of blood flow throughout the mouse brain,given vasomotion and changes in metabolic load and neurological state We further address the consequences of interruptions to flow at the level of individual microvessels as a means to understand microstrokes and aspects of neuroinflammation. This program includes anatomical, computational, electro- and opto-physiological, and functional imaging components.
We maintain an ongoing effort to develop tools that advance our scientific studies. We currently focus on: (1) imaging of somas, axons, and spines deep within structurally complex tissue, like the brainstem, through the use of adaptive optics with novel guide-stars and two-photon microscopy; and (2) construction of an active digital atlas of the mouse brain and automated registration based on microscopic texture of brain tissue, with emphasis on the brainstem.