Associate Professor, Departement of Biology
B.Sc, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Ph.D., University of Auckland, New Zealand
Postdoctoral, Medical University of Augkland, New Zealand
It is clear that brain functions are not determined by individual neurons but by many coherent networks interacting. Our lab focuses on understanding the balancing act between cells and circuits that integrate cognitive and motor control of behavioral functions. To do this we use a range of electrophysiological, genetic, anatomical and behavioral techniques in rodent models. We are particularly interested in how modulatory clusters, such as locus coeruleus norepinephrine neurons, alter activity in distal target networks and modify behavioral output. We are also interested in how the loss of specific neural populations in neurodegenerative disorders impacts broader neural networks and motor function. Our overarching goals are to characterize the neural and physiological mechanisms underlying cognitive and motor behavior and apply this information in identifying treatments for circuit dysfunction in disease.