(Turn and face the strange*)
We seek to discover principles that explain the design and function of brain-wide systems, guided by control theory and with a focus on rodent-based experiments.
Active sensing and the neuronal basis of search:
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 head orientation and vibrissa and lingual touch in the presence of self-movement. We use a full spectrum of approaches that include anatomy, behavior, computational analysis, functional imaging, and electro- and opto-physiology.
Microcirculation and the vascular connectom within the brain:
This program determines the vascular and lymphatic connectome for the brain and the nature of neuronal and vascular control of blood flow and interstitial fluid flow throughout the mouse brain, given vasomotion and changes in metabolic load and neurological state. We further address the dynamics as well as the energetics of flow and substrate delivery. We use a full spectrum of approaches that include connectomics, computational analysis, electro- and opto-physiology, and structural and functional imaging.
Advances in neurotechnology:
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; (2) imaging of structure and dynamics involved in fluid flow within brain and peribrain tissue; and (3) tools to automate the analysis of histological data, with emphasis on the brainstem and brain vascular anatomy.