The overarching aim of the research activities is to define the neuronal circuits of the human and rodent cerebral cortex and connected subcortical areas, as they are cellular regulators of cognitive process in health and disease. We wish to define what neuronal circuitry guides emotional-dependent learning and memory, and how it is modified in animal models of fear and anxiety disorders.
To achieve this goal we investigate the structure and the function of various neuron types in the rodent amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Major focus is on GABAergic neuron types because of their critical role in controlling circuits activity and because of their diversity. We also investigate the structure, function, communication and responses to drugs of neurons in the human cerebral cortex, the largest and most frequently affected brain area in disease.
My research group uses an integrated approach combining electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, optogenetic, cellular imaging and high resolution anatomy. Understanding the neural mechanisms controlling cortex-hippocampal-amygdala network activity may eventually lead to novel therapeutic strategies to reverse or ameliorate psychiatric disorders.