Understanding how neural circuits compute, drive behaviors, yield brain disorders, and can serve as therapeutic targets

We are using our tools (e.g., optogenetic neural control, robotic intracellular recording in vivo, brain circuit dynamics measurement, etc.), both within our lab and in many collaborations with others, to analyze how specific sets of circuit elements within neural circuits give rise to behaviors and functions such as cognition, emotion, movement, and sensation. We are also determining which neural circuit elements can initiate or sustain pathological brain states. Principles of controlling brain circuits may yield fundamental insights into how best to go about treating brain disorders. Finally, we are screening for neural circuit targets that, when altered, present potential therapeutic benefits, and which may serve as potential drug targets or electrical stimulation targets. In this way we hope to explore systematic, causal, temporally-precise analyses of how neural circuits function, yielding both fundamental scientific insights and important clinically relevant principles.