From the mechanic waves, odor molecules and photons to the perception, the sensory information undergoes a series of transformation through the nervous system.
- How does this fascinating system encode information coming from the outside world?
- How does it influence our perception or behavior?
That’s what we want to answer. The individual neurons in nervous system connect to each other by synapses, forming daunting networks. To link fundamental synaptic mechanisms and specific behaviors, we’re trying to combine cellular, molecular and systems-level study together by electrophysiology, imaging, genetics, and pharmacology. Specifically, by using a variety of techniques, in particular in vivo whole cell recording and combining the imaging and pharmacological manipulations, we’ll be able to identify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying auditory or other information processing. The ultimate goal of our lab is to understand the principles governing higher cognitive functions, such as music, communication, and how those auditory information is stored and retrieved in our brain.
- Two Photon Microscopy
- Behavioral Testing
Our current focus is the central hub for auditory processing: the auditory midbrain. It receives not only inputs from ascending pathways, but also inputs from both the cortex and the amygdala. This unique position may underlie an integral function to reinforce the influence of cognitive functions (emotion and attention) for top-down control of sensory processing. We’re dissecting these major descending pathways to better understand the synaptic mechanisms behind it.
We thank the following funding agencies and sponsors to our research:
Applied neuroscience, psychology and economics
The advancement of techniques and instruments allow more accurate and reliable diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental disorders. However, the subjective and intangible nature of perception and cognition undermine the evaluation of safety and efficacy of these interventions and eventual outcomes. From health, pharmaceutical and neural economics point of view, we’re aiming at designing new psychometric health-adjusted quality of life (HAQL) instruments that allow more efficient and effective application of comparative effectiveness analysis on central nervous system (CNS) pharmaceutical products and biomedical devices.