The animal nervous system is a marvellous structure: a network of millions of neurons, exchanging electrical and chemical signals via thousands of connections, whose activity embodies sensory, cognitive, and motor intelligence.
The goal of our research is to understand how the specialised activity of individual neurons, and brain areas, emerges from the architecture of these connections, how gene expression predisposes their blue-print, and how their plasticity allows animals to learn.
We address these problems studying the visual system, and combining methods from system neuroscience, physiology, anatomy, and molecular biology to link function, connectivity, and gene expression in neural circuits in vivo.
In this model system, we investigate how the activity of specialised neuronal classes enable animals to see, and to coordinate vision and movements; we map the circuit architectures that orchestrate this specialised activity, and we seek the genetic fingerprints that predispose these properties.
With this approach, we hope to discover general principles that govern the function, assembly and plasticity of neural circuits.