Uncovering the functional organization of neural circuits
The brain's ability to perceive sensory information depends on the interactions of millions of neurones in dedicated networks containing trillions of synaptic connections. These complex interactions are highly specific and give rise to the selectivity of individual neurones for different sensory stimuli. However, we currently know very little about how neuronal connectivity supports the integration of complex combinations of sensory information. Are there, for example, specific patterns of connectivity that are optimal to represent specific features of multisensory information?
We use a range of different approaches, such as in vitro multiple patch-clamp recordings and in vivo calcium imaging in dendritic spines, to characterize the functional connectivity between neurons. We aim to uncover fundamental principles of neuronal circuit organization that underlie our ability to perceive the surrounding world.