Neurophysiology techniques facilitate inquiries into many key questions in neuroscience.
How do neurons respond to sensory input? By recording from neurons during exposure to particular forms of stimulation, it is possible to understand how neurons encode and process sensory information in the brain, such as scents, visual information, and even touch. This work is going on in the labs of John Assad, Richard Born, David Ginty, Clifford Woolf and Rachel Wilson.
The electrical behavior of neurons tells us about how sensory information is processed by the brain in real time. Christopher Harvey characterizes the electrical properties of neurons in a mouse’s brain while the rodent navigates a virtual reality world (image to the left). The Harvey Lab thus develops insights into the brain’s processes in decision making.
Electrophysiological probes can reveal the basics of cellular communication in the brain, allowing us to decipher the rules that regulate the release of neurochemicals. The labs of Bernardo Sabatini, Wade Regehr and Pascal Kaeser use these techniques to observe how are neurochemical processes are altered in disease states.
In the labs of Bruce Bean, Jonathan Cohen and Gary Yellen, observations of how pharmacological agents and other molecules inside and outside of neurons, control the excitability of neurons.