Our research focus is in the area of Synaptic Transmission and Neural Circuits Underlying Sensory Information Filtering.
Our brain is constantly exposed to a myriad of sensory information coming from the ears, eyes, nose, mouth, skin, muscles, joints and internal organs. To avoid brain overload, a pre-attentive neuronal filtering mechanism allows only the most salient information to be processed. Hallmark of schizophrenia, abnormal sensory filtering is also seen in many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases associated with cognitive and behavioral deficits. Our research program focuses on better understanding the neural elements and circuits underlying sensory information filtering. We are particularly interested in how the caudal pontine reticular nucleus (PnC), brainstem structure at the core of the filtering circuitry, is activated. To do so, we use anatomical, immunohistochemical, electrophysiological, genetic, and behavioral techniques/approaches in rodents, including disease models. Our overall goal is to provide a better understanding of the physiological dysfunction in patients suffering from sensory information filtering and identify potential targets for therapeutic interventions.