Neuronal circuits and synaptic mechanisms underlying context-dependent sensory perception and reward-based sensorimotor learning
Research in the Laboratory of Sensory Processing aims to define the neuronal circuits and synaptic mechanisms underlying context-dependent sensory perception and reward-based sensorimotor learning in mice. We use behavioral, electrophysiological, optical, molecular and computational methods to investigate sensorimotor processing at the level of individual neurons and their synaptic interactions within complex networks. We want to know how specific neuronal networks contribute to the processing of sensory information in a learning- and context-dependent manner ultimately leading to behavioral decisions and goal-directed motor output.
We focus on two specific major long-term research topics:
1. Reward-based learning – We investigate how neuronal circuits in the mouse brain change in order to transform whisker sensory information into goal-directed licking motor output through reward-based learning.
2. Context-dependent sensory perception – We investigate how neuronal circuits process whisker sensory information in a context-dependent manner, gating goal-directed sensorimotor transformation of a whisker stimulus into licking for reward.