PROJECT SUMMARY The courtship song of male zebra finches is a classical model for learning complex motor behaviors and shows important parallels to human speech and communication. Male zebra finches learn a song from an adult tutor and then reproduce this song throughout adulthood.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative funds a wide-variety of research: toolmakers, trainees, individual labs testing new hypotheses, and large, team-based efforts aiming to catalyze neuroscience inquiry forward. Explore NIH BRAIN Initiative funded awards listed below. Click on the project title to learn more about it within NIH RePORTER.
To see more NIH-funded awards and associated publications, please visit the NIH RePORTER.
Abstract Decades of research have revealed the principles of information processing that give rise to auditory spatial tuning and experience-dependent adaptive plasticity in the owl auditory system.
In natural vision, recognizing objects based on the retinal image is challenging and is often an ill-posed problem because a single image is compatible with multiple interpretations.
Project Summary Uncertainty is an often pervasive, stressful experience that arises when making judgments about others' beliefs, intentions, or emotions (i.e., ambiguous social situations). Excessive uncertainty can have pernicious effects upon memory, mood, and physical and mental outcomes.
Hypothalamic tanycytes have limited postnatal neurogenic competence, but the extrinsic and intrinsic factors that promote this are not well understood. My predoctoral research identified a defined developmental window during which neurogenic competence is lost from hypothalamic tanycytes.
Project Summary Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of the sensory cortices is an emerging approach to restore sensation to people who have lost it due to neurological injury or disease.
PROJECT SUMMARY The choroid plexus (ChP) comprises a network of cells that form a critical brain barrier that can mediate secondary damage in certain brain disorders and trauma. The Lehtinen lab has developed a suite of tools to study the ChP across development ex vivo and in vivo.
Project Summary: The majority of lived experience depends on neural activity conveying sensory information about the world.
The goal of this project is to create two prototypes of a novel live spike sorting system which can be used by investigators to spike sort streams of neural data recorded by multi-channel, high channel and ultra-high channel probes.
Project Summary/Abstract Neural representations supporting spatial and episodic learning form, and transform rapidly in the mammalian hippocampus.
Project Summary Sub-Cerebral Projection Neurons (SCPNs) are a clinically relevant neuron class that controls voluntary movement and whose loss in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Fronto-temporal dementia or injury (e.g., damaged by spinal cord injury) leads to paralysis.
Project Summary Retinal degenerative diseases are the leading cause of irreversible vision loss. There is no approved medical intervention that could cure or reverse the courses of retinal degenerative diseases.
Project Summary Many social behaviors, such as defense and aggression, are innate- requiring no prior experience to be expressed and presumably ‘hardwired’ into neural circuits.
Project Summary/Abstract: Overall The overarching goal of this U19 program is to determine how neural computations across brain regions produce two core cognitive processes, working memory and decision-making, and thus to derive fundamental principles of brain function.
The exponential surge in the prevalence of neurological diseases/disorders, partly due to the rapid growth in the aged population, poses a significant challenge to the prevention and treatment of impairments in cognitive, sensory, and motor functions.
Abstract Humans can rapidly regulate actions according to updated demands of the environment.
Decision making is a fundamental cognitive process, and many decisions are based on gradually accumulated evidence. Thus, it is critical to understand the mechanistic basis underlying this accumulation process.
Project Summary Mother-infant bonding is a key relationship that lays a foundation for wellness throughout life. Social recognition is an important component of this relationship, as infants imprint on the smell of their mothers and use olfaction to distinguish their mother from others.
Project Summary Plasticity is a fundamental aspect of neuronal circuits across all species. It is at the base of learning and memory, sensory adaption, and many disease-related processes such as addiction, chronic pain or regeneration.
Summary Imbalanced levels of neuromodulators and other chemical signals contribute to a host of neurological disorders.