Neural Circuit Plasticity in Mouse Visual Cortex
A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how brain circuits perform computations, affect perception and behaviors. We are interested in elucidating how neuromodulatory systems induce reward-dependent plasticity of the neural circuits involved in visual perception. We use a multi-disciplinary approach: optogenetics and robotics to map neural circuits in vitro, and extra- and intracellular electrophysiological recordings in vivo in the mouse primary visual cortex (V1). Mouse V1 is an excellent model system, as it combines the ease of manipulating visual stimulus with accessibility for in vivo recordings in a genetically tractable animal model. This combination of in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology with the optogenetic tools provides an integrated platform to dissect and manipulate specific circuits relevant for visual perception, and study diseases affecting perception and neural circuit function, such as autism.