We are interested in elucidating the fundamental biophysical mechanisms by which single neurons process and integrate information, and how these features influence and decide population coding, plasticity, and sensory input processing in the brain. To this end, we focus on the computational role that synapses and dendrites play in deciding and influencing the overall input-output transfer function of a neuron. There is growing evidence to suggest that the location and interplay between synapses, local dendritic electrical features, spatial arrangement of specific membrane channels, and local biophysical properties strongly influence local and global computations (Ex: dendritic spiking, co-incidence detection, electrical compartmentalization, biochemical compartmentalization, and simple logic functions). Yet, exactly how these multiple integrative effects influence overall circuit output and create a stable behavioral response is still unknown. We seek to develop new tools and techniques, and in conjunction with cutting-edge two-photon imaging and nanoscale electrophysiology tease apart these fundamental biophysical mechanisms through which single neurons and small populations of neurons process and shape information.

Research in the area of neuroscience spans 2 main directions

A. Biophysics and Physiology of Dendritic Spines

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Research topics within this area include

a. Electrical properties of spines

b. Clustered spine activity and plasticity

c. Interplay between spine biochemical and electrical properties 

d. Electromechanical properties of spines

e. Pre-synapse-spine coupling dynamics

B. Biophysics and Physiology of Dendrites in vitro and in vivo

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Research topics within this area include

a. Spine-dendrite coupling

b. Role of Calcium, Na, NMDA spikes 

c. Dendritic signalling during sensory inputs 

d. Dendritic physiology in disease models

e. Role of inhibition in controlling dendritic signalling

f. Plasticity rules during sensory inputs