The laboratory examines the structure and function of synapses and the relationship between synapse function and animal behavior.  This includes integrative studies of how synaptically connected networks of neurons (i.e. circuits) develop and function as well as biophysical studies of how an individual synapse operates.  We are particularly interested in how the intrinsic properties of synapses, the action of neuromodulatory molecules, and the topography of the neural network interact to determine the function, and dysfunction, of a circuit.


Basal Ganglia

  • Circuitry
  • Contributions to learned behaviors
  • Development



  • Function of individual synapses
  • Interplay between activity and synapse formation
  • Synapses and disease
  • Regulation by neuromodulators
  • Neurotransmission by peptides

Technology development

  • Photoactivatable molecules
  • Super-resolution 2-photon laser scanning microscopy
  • Reporters of intracellular state