My lab studies how circuitry in the brain gives rise to complex behaviors, one of nature’s great mysteries. We study how the auditory cortex processes sound, and how this is interrupted in autism. We also seek to obtain a wiring diagram of the mouse brain at the resolution of individual neurons. Our unusual approach exploits cheap and rapid “next-gen” gene sequencing technology.
Anthony Zador and colleagues study how brain circuitry gives rise to complex behavior. Work in the lab is focused on two main areas. First, they ask how the cortex processes sound, how that processing is modulated by attention, and how it is disrupted in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism. Recently, the lab found that when a rat makes a decision about a sound, the information needed to make the decision is passed to a particular subset of neurons in the auditory cortex whose axons project to a structure called the striatum. In the second major line of work in the Zador lab, they are developing new methods for determining the complete wiring instructions of the mouse brain at single-neuron resolution, which they term the “Connectome.” In contrast to previous methods, which make use of microscopy, these methods exploit high-throughput DNA sequencing. Because the costs of DNA sequencing are plummeting so rapidly, these methods have the potential to yield the complete wiring diagram of an entire brain for just thousands of dollars.
How to map brain connections using DNA barcodes
July 14, 2020
A new technique labels brain cells with short snippets of DNA to trace many neuronal connections at a time.
BARseq builds a better brain map
October 17, 2019
Created by CSHL neuroscientists, BARseq is capable of mapping connections within a brain at single-neuron resolution while tracing their gene expression.
Are smart robots a threat?
August 23, 2019
In a Q&A, Neuroscientist Anthony Zador explains how neuroscience can inform machine learning, and why he’s not worried about a robot apocalypse.
Understanding the animal brain could help robots wash your dishes
August 21, 2019
The field of machine learning still has a lot it can glean from neuroscience, especially in how evolution shapes an animal brain.
Watson School alumni spotlights
May 19, 2019
This year, Watson School celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first entering class and looks back at some notable alumni from over the years.
Watson School 2019 Ph.D.s
May 19, 2019
Seven students were awarded Ph.D. degrees from Watson School this May. Here, they reflect on their time at the Laboratory as they look to the future.
The year of CRISPR
December 26, 2018
A look at the various labs across CSHL that utilize CRISPR in their research, and the groundbreaking discoveries they help uncover.
Dr. Zador wins Transformative Investigator award
August 8, 2018
CSHL professor Anthony Zador wins Gill Symposium prize for his innovative work on MAPseq
Portrait of a Neuroscience Powerhouse
April 27, 2018
A relatively small neuroscience group at CSHL is having an outsized impact on a dynamic and highly competitive field
Revolutionary brain mapping: hundreds of neurons tracked in a week
March 29, 2018
Researchers used MAPseq, a revolutionary brain mapping method, to make a discovery that will force neuroscientists to rethink how areas of the cortex.