In everyday life we experience a range of emotions, such as love, pleasure, anger, depression, anxiety and fear, which represent our instinctive evaluations of our situations. Emotions strongly influence our cognition, behavior and physiology. Consequently, dysregulation of emotions is implicated in various neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, little is known about how our brain produces and regulates various emotions.
Research in our laboratory focuses on finding mechanistic explanations for how various emotional states are assembled and processed in normal brains and how these mechanisms are dysregulated in diseased brains. To address this problem, we use a genetically tractable model system (mice), and we employ a multi-disciplinary approach including optogenetics, in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology, chemical methods, pharmacology and imaging to dissect neural circuits in exquisite detail.
Other Affiliations: School of Biological Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program in Genetic Engineering, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Interdisciplinary Program in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Brain-Mind-Behavior Undergraduate Program
Our research is generously supported by: