Studying the role of cortical and striatal circuit dynamics in reward-guided learning and movement

Our group is interested in understanding the neural basis of simple reward-guided behaviors such as Pavlovian conditioning. We primarily study the computational properties of the striatum, how these dynamics are regulated by external inputs and local microcircuits, and their behavioral function. Our approach relies on using silicon microprobe electrode arrays to record the activity of large populations of neurons in the cortex, striatum, and other interconnected regions. We combine large-scale recordings with optogenetic perturbations to determine the contribution of specific circuits on neural dynamics and information processing, and to establish causal links between neural activity and behavior.