To understand what’s going wrong in illnesses like autism and schizophrenia, we need to know more about how neural circuits are connected in the healthy brain. We’ve developed advanced imaging methods to draw the first whole-brain activation map in the mouse. Now we’re applying that technology to study changes in brain activity in mice whose behavior models human autism and schizophrenia.
Pavel Osten’s lab works on identification and analysis of brain regions, neural circuits, and connectivity pathways that are disrupted in genetic mouse models of autism and schizophrenia. Osten hypothesizes that (1) systematic comparison of multiple genetic mouse models will allow determination of overlaps in pathology—neural circuit endophenotypes—responsible for the manifestation of neuropsychiatric disorders and (2) neural circuit-based classification of autism and schizophrenia will provide key circuit targets for detailed mechanistic studies and therapeutic development. Osten and colleagues have developed the first systematic approach to the study of neural circuits in mouse models of psychiatric diseases, based on a pipeline of anatomical and functional methods for analysis of mouse brain circuits. An important part of this pipeline is high-throughput microscopy for whole-mouse brain imaging, called serial two-photon (STP) tomography. This year, they used this method to describe the first whole-brain activation map representing social behavior in normal mice. They are currently focusing on using this approach to study brain activation changes in two mouse models of autism: the 16p11.2 df/+ mouse model, which shows an increased propensity to seizures and hyperactivity, and the CNTNAP2 knockout mouse model, which shows abnormal social behavior.
Building on 150 years of neuroanatomy
October 7, 2021
Learn more about how researchers reached a milestone in a years-long effort to catalog the cells of the human, mouse, and monkey brains.
Think a census of humans is hard? Try counting their brain cells!
October 6, 2021
CSHL researchers and other collaborators reached a milestone in a years-long effort to catalog the cells of the human, mouse, and monkey brains.
qBrain: Mapping out brain similarities and differences
August 20, 2021
CSHL researchers developed qBrain, a technique that automates complete brain-wide analyses.
NIH BRAIN Initiative invests $9.7 million in CSHL scientists
December 29, 2020
CSHL scientists received grants to broaden our knowledge of the human brain and how to treat neurological disorders.
One experiment: Observing cancer’s progress in a mouse prostate
March 14, 2019
Using a technique originally designed for mapping brains, two CSHL labs have worked together to image cancer progression in a mouse prostate.
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
One experiment: A beautiful brain, neuron by neuron
November 22, 2017
Associate Professor Pavel Osten and colleagues discovered using their qBrain method is discerned by probing hidden relations among the dots.
New leadership roles in BRAIN Initiative and International Brain Lab reflect CSHL’s excellence in neuroscience
October 24, 2017
The BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network establishes a Center and a Collaboratory for the Mouse Brain Cell Atlas at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
First cell-type census of mouse brains: surprises about structure, male-female differences
October 5, 2017
A multiyear project in the Brain Initiative, qBrain is already revealing the brain as never before.
Mapping social behavior-induced brain activation at cellular resolution in the mouse
January 5, 2015
Imaging method linking brainwide cell activation & behavior shows what it means for mice to have sex in mind.