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Our aim is to better understand how cortical circuits malfunction in Autism, Epilepsy and Stroke.  We study: 1)  Structural and functional plasticity during motor learning and sensory (visual) stimulus encoding reliability in the MECP2-duplication model of Autism, 2) The role that different cell types play in epileptiform patterns of activity in the Stargazer Model of Absence Epilepsy and the Tetanus Toxin model of Focal Epilepsy, 3) Cortical circuit dysfunction in stroke.

Autism

Abnormalities in experience dependent plasticity and excitation to inhibition balance have been implicated in circuit dysfunction in Autism. We use in vivo two-photon imaging to study changes in structural dendritic plasticity that occur during motor learning in the mouse model of the MECP2 duplication syndrome (PDF, PDF).

 

Other projects include:

  • M1 circuit malfunction during motor learning and with disease progression in MECP2-duplication syndrome, and
  • Reliability of visual encoding in the MECP2-duplication syndrome of autism.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Epilepsy

We study both genetic and induced mouse models of epilepsy. Two-photon imaging enables us to simultaneously record from hundreds of neurons of identified cell type, and study how they participate in seizures and other abnormal “epileptiform” events recorded on EEG.  Combined with patch-clamp electrophysiology and new spatial light modulation optogenetic methods, this approach will help us dissect the mechanisms of epilepsy at the microcircuit level.

 

Stroke

Develop a micro-stroke model using 2-photon induced photocoagulation as a model to study mechanisms of neuronal cell death and circuit repair.

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