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neuroscience qBrain mappingCSHL neuroscientists focus on understanding how neural connections in the brain translate into behavior. Their research provides insights into the circuitry underlying complex cognitive processes such as decision-making and attention, as well as developing tools to map circuit disruptions associated with neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia and depression.

Neuroscience research at CSHL is centered on three broad themes: sensory processing, cognition, and mental disorders. Sensory processing research explores how sensory experiences, like sound, smell, and sight, are integrated with decision-making. The cognition group uses the tools of modern neuroscience (genetic, molecular, physiology and imaging) to study the neural circuitry that underlies attention, memory, and decision-making. Researchers also study cognitive disorders, defining the genetic basis of diseases like autism and schizophrenia and identifying the neural circuits that are disrupted in these disorders. In addition, there is an effort to develop new anatomical methods to improve our understanding of brain circuits, connectivity, and function.

Much of the work is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. Many neuroscientists apply physics, math, and engineering principles to the study of cognition, including research funded by the Swartz Foundation. The Stanley Center for Cognitive Genomics integrates genetics and neuroscience to form a dual-strategy aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and other cognitive disorders.

    Dr. Zador wins Transformative Investigator award

    Dr. Zador wins Transformative Investigator award

    August 8, 2018

    Anthony Zador, a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) professor and the Alle Davis and Maxine Harrison Endowed Chair of Neurosciences, has been named a Gill Symposium Transformative Investigator for his work on MAPseq. The prize honors researchers who have made exceptional contributions to cellular or molecular neuroscience. MAPseq (Multiplexed Analysis of Projections by Sequencing) is...


    CSHL spinoff wins investment prize

    CSHL spinoff wins investment prize

    June 29, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Alex Vaughan was awarded the 2018 Alexandria LaunchLabs Seed Capital Prize for the CSHL spinoff company MapNeuro Inc. during the NYC Life Science Innovation Showcase, held in New York City on June 14, 2018. Valued at $100,000, the prize, meant to fund early-stage development companies, includes a scholarship to Alexandria LaunchLabs,...


    Postdoc wins Indian National Science Academy prize

    Postdoc wins Indian National Science Academy prize

    June 25, 2018

    Dhananjay Huilgol, a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Z. Josh Huang’s lab, has been awarded one of India’s highest honors for young investigators. Huilgol has won the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Young Scientist award for his doctoral research in the field of developmental neuroscience. During his time at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in...


    A better way to trace neuronal pathways

    A better way to trace neuronal pathways

    June 6, 2018

    Moving forward by moving backward more effectively Cold Spring Harbor, NY — New technologies have been likened, famously, to magic. At first, even the few who understand how they work have a tendency to sit back and marvel. Soon, flaws and limitations are detected and the invention process begins again, resulting, almost always, in improvements....


    Scientists show how brain circuit generates anxiety

    Scientists show how brain circuit generates anxiety

    May 29, 2018

    Research suggests a possible target for future anti-anxiety drugs Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have identified a neural circuit in the amygdala, the brain’s seat of emotion processing, that gives rise to anxiety. Their insight has revealed the critical role of a molecule called dynorphin, which could serve...


    Cocktails & Chromosomes: Mars and Venus? Not quite…

    Cocktails & Chromosomes: Mars and Venus? Not quite…

    May 25, 2018

    Join us for the next edition of Cocktails & Chromosomes, featuring developmental neuroscientist Jessica Tollkuhn, Ph.D., an assistant professor at CSHL… Men are from Mars and women are from Venus? NOT QUITE… Estrogen and testosterone drive mood, aggression, preferences and behavior in both males and females, but how? Dr. Jessica Tollkuhn will talk about how hormone surges in...


    Nature’s masterpiece: the brain

    Nature’s masterpiece: the brain

    May 11, 2018

    Since 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has consistently advanced the frontiers of research and education in biology. How we have come so far is remarkable, considering that Darwin’s theory of evolution and Mendel’s explanation of genetics were at the cutting edge little more than a century ago. Curiosity-driven research, innovation and risk-taking underlie our...


    Documentary screening: MINDS WIDE OPEN

    Documentary screening: MINDS WIDE OPEN

    May 2, 2018

    Please join us for the East Coast Film Premiere of the Tianqiao & Chrissy Chen Institute (TCCI)’s documentary, MINDS WIDE OPEN: Unlocking the potential of the human brain. A revolution in technology is helping scientists unlock the mysteries of the most complex object in the universe: the human brain. Created by Tianqiao Chen, Chrissy Luo and award-winning producer,...


    Portrait of a Neuroscience Powerhouse

    Portrait of a Neuroscience Powerhouse

    April 27, 2018

    At noon every Tuesday from September through June, scenes from a revolution in neuroscience are playing out at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Week after week, over 100 scientists cram themselves into a ground-floor meeting room in the Beckman Laboratory. It’s standing-room only as everyone in the Neuroscience Program settles in to hear details of the...


    Revolutionary brain-mapping technique provides new blueprint for cortical connections

    Revolutionary brain-mapping technique provides new blueprint for cortical connections

    March 28, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Using a revolutionary new brain-mapping technology recently developed at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), an international team of scientists led by Professor Anthony Zador have made a discovery that will force neuroscientists to rethink how areas of the cortex communicate with one another. The new technology, called MAPseq, allowed the...


    CSHL’s Bo Li receives BRAIN Initiative funding

    CSHL’s Bo Li receives BRAIN Initiative funding

    December 28, 2017

    CSHL Professor Bo Li and two collaborators at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have been awarded a new grant under the BRAIN Initiative of the National Institutes of Health. The award of $5 million, apportioned over five years, supports research to better understand how paired structures called amygdalae, set deep in the brain, are...


    Dr. Anne Churchland honored with Marshall Award for promoting women in science

    Dr. Anne Churchland honored with Marshall Award for promoting women in science

    December 11, 2017

    In recognition of her efforts to promote and mentor women in neuroscience, Associate Professor Anne Churchland was honored with The Louise Hanson Marshall Special Recognition Award at the Society for Neuroscience’s 2017 Annual Meeting in November. Each year, the award goes to “an individual who has significantly promoted the professional development of women in neuroscience...


    One experiment: A beautiful brain, neuron by neuron

    One experiment: A beautiful brain, neuron by neuron

    November 22, 2017

    What you see here is not a pointillist masterpiece. It is a rendering of the mouse brain, from above, formed by millions of colored dots. Like the famous canvases painted by post-Impressionist Georges Seurat, the triumph of this image is in the relation of the dots themselves. Each colored dot is an inhibitory neuron, and...


    Additional brain power

    Additional brain power

    November 21, 2017

    For neuroscientists, the brain presents an almost endless number of mysteries to be solved. Assistant Professor Tatiana Engel, the newest addition to CSHL’s Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, is focused on the dynamics of neural circuits. She wants to understand the role of changing neural activity patterns in decision-making and attention. While earning her doctorate...


    Fantastic journey: how newborn neurons find their proper place in the brain

    Fantastic journey: how newborn neurons find their proper place in the brain

    November 2, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — One of the most hopeful discoveries of modern neuroscience is firm proof that the human brain is not static following birth. Rather, it is continually renewing itself, via a process called postnatal neurogenesis—literally, the birth of new neurons. It begins not long after birth and continues into old age. There is...


    For brain cells, you are who you speak to

    For brain cells, you are who you speak to

    October 31, 2017

    LabDish blog Tracking a person entails searching through their email, phone, and other means of communication to map out their network. To do this for a brain cell, more creativity is called for. After more than a century of investigation into the diverse cells of the brain, neuroscientists still are not sure what exactly makes one neuron...


    New leadership roles in BRAIN Initiative and International Brain Lab reflect CSHL’s excellence in neuroscience

    New leadership roles in BRAIN Initiative and International Brain Lab reflect CSHL’s excellence in neuroscience

    October 24, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) yesterday announced multiple grant awards totaling $50 million per year for five years to fund cutting-edge research on the brain. The project, part of the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), establishes a Center and a...


    Research revises our knowledge of how the brain learns to fear

    Research revises our knowledge of how the brain learns to fear

    October 23, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Our brains wire themselves up during development according to a series of remarkable genetic programs that have evolved over millions of years. But so much of our behavior is the product of things we learn only after we emerge from the womb. We aren’t born with instructions to avoid putting...


    First cell-type census of mouse brains: surprises about structure, male-female differences

    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 Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have mobilized advanced imaging and computational methods to comprehensively map—“count”—the total populations of specific types of cells throughout the mouse brain. In a study published today in...


    Do neuroscientists need to switch gears to understand how brains make choices?

    Do neuroscientists need to switch gears to understand how brains make choices?

    October 2, 2017

    Last month, the announcement of International Brain Laboratory (IBL) made headlines because of its unusual approach to a fundamental mystery of neuroscience: what happens in the brain when it makes a decision? Associate Professor Anne Churchland, who co-founded the IBL along with Professor Tony Zador, explains how it could help solve a problem in neuroscience....


    Neuron types in the brain are defined by gene activity that shapes their communication patterns

    Neuron types in the brain are defined by gene activity that shapes their communication patterns

    September 21, 2017

    Families of genes encoding proteins involved in communication across synapses define neurons by determining which cells they connect with and how they communicate Cold Spring Harbor, NY — In a major step forward in research, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) today publish in Cell a discovery about the molecular-genetic basis of neuronal cell...


    Research reveals “exquisite selectivity” of neuronal wiring in the cerebral cortex

    Research reveals “exquisite selectivity” of neuronal wiring in the cerebral cortex

    August 21, 2017

    Inhibitory chandelier cells receive and transmit information from different ensembles of excitatory cells in their cortical neighborhood Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The brain’s astonishing anatomical complexity has been appreciated for over 100 years, when pioneers first trained microscopes on the profusion of branching structures that connect individual neurons. Even in the tiniest areas of...


    CSHL’s Kepecs receives BRAIN Initiative grant to develop tools to guide behavioral research

    CSHL’s Kepecs receives BRAIN Initiative grant to develop tools to guide behavioral research

    August 1, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Neuroscientist Adam Kepecs of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has been selected to lead a new research project that is part of the US government’s “BRAIN” Initiative, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today. Kepecs, a CSHL Professor, will work with colleagues to develop conceptual infrastructure for behavioral neuroscience research....


    Team traces masculinization in mice to estrogen receptor in inhibitory neurons

    Team traces masculinization in mice to estrogen receptor in inhibitory neurons

    July 20, 2017

    Opening the hormonal black box yields some surprises about sex Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have opened a black box in the brain whose contents explain one of the remarkable yet mysterious facts of life. It’s been known for decades that an event occurring on the very first...


    Is confidence measurable?

    Is confidence measurable?

    May 16, 2017

    LabDish blog Confidence is “not just a feeling,” according to neuroscientist Adam Kepecs. Finding the confidence-calculating circuitry in our brains has huge implications for the future of psychiatry. When someone asks you how confident you are about something, you probably don’t offer an answer like “5” or some other number. You’re more likely to say...


    Research suggests a possible role for a storm of ‘jumping genes’ in ALS

    Research suggests a possible role for a storm of ‘jumping genes’ in ALS

    March 27, 2017

    Do genome-defending anti-transposon systems collapse in ALS patients? Stony Brook and Cold Spring Harbor, NY — By inserting an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-linked human gene called TDP-43 into fruit flies, researchers at Stony Brook University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) discovered a potential role for transposons in the disease. Transposons, which are also called jumping...


    Can we understand memories at the molecular level?

    Can we understand memories at the molecular level?

    March 13, 2017

    LabDish blog Written by Annabel Romero Hernandez Memories may seem intangible, but many scientists are working to figure out how they are physically stored in the brain. To achieve this, we’ll need to understand memories at the molecular level. When we talk about memories, it’s usually in the context of something precious, like a beloved...


    Dopamine neurons factor ambiguity into predictions that enable us to “win big and win often”

    Dopamine neurons factor ambiguity into predictions that enable us to “win big and win often”

    March 9, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — In the struggle of life, evolution rewards animals that master their circumstances, especially when the environment changes fast. If there is a recipe for success, it is not: savor your victories when you are fortunate to have them. Rather it is: win big, and win often. To make winning decisions,...


    In mouse model of Rett syndrome, research reveals how adult learning is impaired in females

    In mouse model of Rett syndrome, research reveals how adult learning is impaired in females

    January 18, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Neurodevelopmental disorders like autism very likely have their origin at the dawn of life, with the emergence of inappropriate connectivity between nerve cells in the brain. In one such disorder, Rett syndrome, the pathology is traceable to the failure of a specific gene, called MECP2. Today, a team at Cold...


    Austin’s Purpose Raises $10,000 for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Neuroscience

    Austin’s Purpose Raises $10,000 for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Neuroscience

    January 4, 2017

    Austin Wasielewski, born in May 2003, at first appeared to be a healthy, strong boy. About three months into his life his parents noticed his jerking motions and realized he wasn’t meeting developmental goals. On Thanksgiving Day 2003, Austin had his first myoclonic seizure. Throughout his first eight years of life he would have up...


    The brain atlas

    The brain atlas

    December 14, 2016

    BasePairs podcast One in six people suffers from a mental disorder, and yet, compared to cancer and infectious disease, neuropsychiatric treatment options have barely improved in decades! Why is that? In this episode of Base Pairs, we talk to Stanford Professor Robert Malenka about the limitations that classic business practices place on modern drug development....


    The “secret” science center where openness is everything

    The “secret” science center where openness is everything

    October 27, 2016

    LabDish blog What appears to be a few elegant houses tucked in the woods by the harbor is actually an epicenter of ideas in biology, from the iconic Human Genome Project in the late 1980s to the more down-to-earth subject of Lyme disease at this recent meeting. Maybe it’s no surprise that the Banbury Center has gained...


    Was it better or worse than you expected? Your basal ganglia know – so you can act accordingly

    Was it better or worse than you expected? Your basal ganglia know – so you can act accordingly

    September 21, 2016

    Identifying a neural circuit that processes evaluations, with implications for understanding depression Cold Spring Harbor, NY — You make reservations at a restaurant, expecting the food to be good. If the meal turns out to be superb—even better than expected—that’s information you will want to remember, so you can go back again. The reverse applies...


    Innovative tools will shed clarifying light on inhibitory neurons

    Innovative tools will shed clarifying light on inhibitory neurons

    September 21, 2016

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Imagine if every time you got in your car, you fired it up, put it in drive, slammed on the gas, and didn’t let up until you reached your destination. Now imagine every driver on the road did the same thing. It would be pile up after pile up. A...


    Revolutionary method to map the brain at single-neuron resolution is successfully demonstrated

    Revolutionary method to map the brain at single-neuron resolution is successfully demonstrated

    August 19, 2016

    MAPseq uses RNA sequencing to rapidly and inexpensively find the diverse destinations of thousands of neurons in a single experiment in a single animal Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Neuroscientists today publish in Neuron details of a revolutionary new way of mapping the brain at the resolution of individual neurons, which they have successfully demonstrated...


    DIY neuroscience opens up a universe of possibilities in Transylvania

    DIY neuroscience opens up a universe of possibilities in Transylvania

    June 1, 2016

    LabDish blog Too many scientists become limited by the availability of expensive, sophisticated tools, according to CSHL Associate Professor Florin Albeanu. He hopes to change that by essentially teaching a DIY approach to neuroscience. Do-it-yourself (“DIY”) science evokes images of amateur scientists tinkering with test tubes in garages on the weekends. So, at first, the...


    Our brain uses statistics to calculate confidence, make decisions

    Our brain uses statistics to calculate confidence, make decisions

    May 4, 2016

    The brain produces feelings of confidence that inform decisions the same way statistics pulls patterns out of noisy data Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The directions, which came via cell phone, were a little garbled, but as you understood them: “Turn left at the 3rd light and go straight; the restaurant will be on your...


    First structural views of the NMDA receptor in action will aid drug development

    First structural views of the NMDA receptor in action will aid drug development

    May 2, 2016

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Structural biologists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Janelia Research Campus/HHMI, have obtained snapshots of the activation of an important type of brain-cell receptor. Dysfunction of the receptor has been implicated in a range of neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, seizure, schizophrenia, autism, and injuries related...


    Imaging hundreds of neurons using ultrafast lasers hints at how brains make decisions

    Imaging hundreds of neurons using ultrafast lasers hints at how brains make decisions

    March 15, 2016

    LabDish blog With the flick of a switch, neuroscientist Matt Kaufman can send out billions of extremely brief laser pulses that will help him understand how brains make decisions. Every time you decide to grab a coffee mug, your brain quickly performs an elaborate string of calculations: it visually recognizes the mug, chooses how you...


    If you thought all neuroscientists work with neurons, you’re wrong

    If you thought all neuroscientists work with neurons, you’re wrong

    February 25, 2016

    LabDish blog Neuroscientists who work with real neurons will swap ideas with those who work solely on mathematics at this year’s Cosyne conference. Follow #theoryMatters on Twitter for videos of them explaining why they need to work together. Associate Professor Anne Churchland on why collaboration between neuroscientists who focus on theory and those who conduct...


    A consortium to map the brain is launched

    A consortium to map the brain is launched

    February 2, 2016

    Boston, MA and Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced a cross-institutional consortium to map the brain’s neural circuits with unprecedented fidelity. The consortium is made possible by a $21 million contract from the government’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and aims to discover...


    First direct evidence for synaptic plasticity in fruit fly brain

    First direct evidence for synaptic plasticity in fruit fly brain

    December 2, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory  (CSHL) have resolved a decades-long debate about how the brain is modified when an animal learns. Using newly developed tools for manipulating specific populations of neurons, the researchers have for the first time observed direct evidence of synaptic plasticity—changes in the strength of connections...


    Approach or buzz off: brain cells in fruit fly hold secret to individual odor preferences

    Approach or buzz off: brain cells in fruit fly hold secret to individual odor preferences

    October 6, 2015

    Responding appropriately to the smell of food or the scent of danger can mean life or death to a fruit fly, and dedicated circuits in the insect’s brain are in place to make sure the fly gets it right. Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Responding appropriately to the smell of food or the scent of...


    Surprised? Cholinergic neurons send brain-wide broadcasts enabling us to learn from the unexpected

    Surprised? Cholinergic neurons send brain-wide broadcasts enabling us to learn from the unexpected

    August 25, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — When a large combat unit, widely dispersed in dense jungle, goes to battle, no single soldier knows precisely how his actions are affecting the unit’s success or failure. But in modern armies, every soldier is connected via an audio link that can instantly receive broadcasts—reporting both positive and negative surprises—based...


    Revised view of brain circuit reveals how we avoid being overwhelmed by powerful odors

    Revised view of brain circuit reveals how we avoid being overwhelmed by powerful odors

    July 1, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – You’ve just encountered a frightened skunk, which has sprayed a generous quantity of its sulfur-containing scent directly in your path. The noxious odor is overpowering. As you turn to run in the opposite direction, you are performing with your feet an operation analogous to one that each of your senses...


    Neuroscientists discover how feedback from the cortex helps mammals make fine distinctions about odors

    Neuroscientists discover how feedback from the cortex helps mammals make fine distinctions about odors

    June 4, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Everyday tasks we may think simple – for example, knowing the difference between the smell of an orange and a pickle – are actually marvels of evolutionary development, the work of eons. A neuroscience team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) today reports in Neuron results of experiments that suggest...


    Thinking about cognition with recent graduate Kristen Delevich

    Thinking about cognition with recent graduate Kristen Delevich

    April 8, 2015

    “I’ve been getting quite good at preparing acute olfactory bulb slices, if I do say so myself.” Recent Watson School graduate Kristen Delevich has been keeping us entertained and informed about her scientific life, as well as what’s exciting and controversial in the field of systems neuroscience, with her tweets.  We read about the progress...


    Scientists discover important communication mechanism between two brain areas implicated in schizophrenia

    Scientists discover important communication mechanism between two brain areas implicated in schizophrenia

    April 7, 2015

    Disruptions in an inhibitory brain circuit between the thalamus and prefrontal cortex may underlie cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia Cold Spring Harbor, NY – The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in cognitive functions such as attention, memory and decision-making. Faulty wiring between PFC and other brain areas is thought to give rise to...


    When thinking about numbers, people estimate a range rather than a single value

    When thinking about numbers, people estimate a range rather than a single value

    March 30, 2015

    Representing numbers as a range of possible values allows people to utilize multiple streams of information, leading to improved decisions Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Whether estimating the number of children on a playground or the number of books on a shelf, humans rely on an innate number sense. While areas of the brain have...


    Cancer metabolism and country music with first-year student Jackie Giovanniello

    Cancer metabolism and country music with first-year student Jackie Giovanniello

    March 9, 2015

    First-year Watson School student Jackie Giovanniello loves country music.  We’ve learned this not so much from Jackie but from her classmates who either now love country music too, or who refuse to ride in her car because of her strict country-only radio policy.  Jackie comes from Brooklyn, not an area considered by many to be...


    Mind-readers: scientists crack a piece of the neural code for learning and memory

    Mind-readers: scientists crack a piece of the neural code for learning and memory

    March 2, 2015

    Postmortem brain slices can be “read” to determine how a mouse was trained to behave in response to specific sounds Cold Spring Harbor, NY – It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: researchers slice a brain into thin little sections and, just by measuring the properties of specific neurons, they can determine what an...


    Making decisions with fourth-year student Kachi Odoemene

    Making decisions with fourth-year student Kachi Odoemene

    February 9, 2015

    Getting funding for basic biomedical research in the US is not easy.  Government budget cuts to the NIH and NSF over the past several years have hurt science.  The scarcity of grant support for an expanding number of trainees creates a scary situation for researchers looking to establish their own labs.  Even in graduate school,...


    A new brain circuit that controls fear is identified

    A new brain circuit that controls fear is identified

    January 19, 2015

    Researchers discover a pathway in that mouse brain that regulates fear memory and behavior Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Some people have no fear, like that 17-year-old kid who drives like a maniac. But for the nearly 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, an overabundance of fear rules their lives. Debilitating anxiety prevents...


    New research on what the nose ‘knows’ reveals an unexpected simplicity

    New research on what the nose ‘knows’ reveals an unexpected simplicity

    January 11, 2015

    In rats, olfactory bulb neurons use simple ‘linear summation’ to make sense of fluctuating odor inputs from the surrounding environment Cold Spring Harbor, NY – What the nose knows is quite amazing, when you think about it.  The moment you encounter an awful odor – spoiled milk, say, or the scent of skunk – you...


    Imaging method linking brainwide cell activation & behavior shows what it means for mice to have sex in mind

    Imaging method linking brainwide cell activation & behavior shows what it means for mice to have sex in mind

    January 5, 2015

    Automated method detects activity of neurons during specific behaviors, brainwide, at cellular resolution Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Most people have seen fMRI scans of the human brain. These use a technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify portions of the brain that are active while a subject is being scanned. Fuzzy, ill-defined areas...


    Neuronal circuits filter out distractions in the brain

    Neuronal circuits filter out distractions in the brain

    December 15, 2014

    Scientists identify a neural pathway that controls attention, with implications for psychiatric disorders Cold Spring Harbor, NY – The next time you are in a crowded room, or a meeting, or even at the park with your kids, take a look around. How many people are on their phone? Distractions invade every aspect of our...


    New junior faculty join CSHL

    New junior faculty join CSHL

    November 12, 2014

    LabDish blog This fall, the Lab welcomes six new faculty members. They’re a diverse group—a mix of junior and senior investigators, with research spanning across Biology. Want to know a little more? We are featuring brief profiles all week. So check back for more! Assistant Professor Je Lee, Genomics Where are you from? George Church’s...


    Some neurons can multitask, raising questions about the importance of specialization

    Some neurons can multitask, raising questions about the importance of specialization

    November 10, 2014

    New findings challenge assumptions about how information is encoded in the brain Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Think about all the things you are doing at this moment. As your eyes scan across the lines of this article, maybe your brain is processing the smell of coffee brewing down the hall and the sound of...


    Mapping the brain with recent graduate Ian Peikon

    Mapping the brain with recent graduate Ian Peikon

    November 5, 2014

    Watson School students are inventive.  One of our students invented DIATROL, which he explained in his application to the School as “…a medication for diarrhea.  The design was simple, little pieces of kitchen sponge shoved inside of a Tylenol capsule.”  Actually, this was a collaborative project with a good friend.  While the two were in...


    In a battle of brains, bigger isn’t always better

    In a battle of brains, bigger isn’t always better

    October 9, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – It’s one of those ideas that seems to make perfect sense: the bigger the brain, the more intelligent the creature. While it is generally true, exceptions are becoming increasingly common. Yet the belief persists even among scientists. Most biologists, for example, assume that rats, with larger brains, are smarter than...


    Gambling with confidence: Are you sure about that?

    Gambling with confidence: Are you sure about that?

    September 18, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Life is a series of decisions, ranging from the mundane to the monumental. And each decision is a gamble, carrying with it the chance to second-guess. Did I make the right turn at that light? Did I choose the right college? Was this the right job for me? Our desire...


    CSHL’s Florin Albeanu, Partha Mitra awarded NSF ‘Early Concept’ grants for neuroscience

    CSHL’s Florin Albeanu, Partha Mitra awarded NSF ‘Early Concept’ grants for neuroscience

    August 18, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY –The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) to two Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) neuroscientists. The researchers, Assistant Professor Florin Albeanu and Professor Partha Mitra, are working to develop new technologies that will provide insight into the structure and operation of neural circuits and...


    “When I grow up…”

    “When I grow up…”

    July 24, 2014

    LabDish blog Growing up, I always knew I wanted to work in science. Maybe I’d synthesize a new biodegradable plastic. Or maybe I’d unlock the secrets behind Alzheimer’s disease. Maybe I’d teach science at a university or write about amazing discoveries. Kids often dream of pursuing unlikely professions, like acting in Hollywood or playing major...


    Neuroscientists explain how mutated X-linked mental retardation protein impairs neuronal function

    Neuroscientists explain how mutated X-linked mental retardation protein impairs neuronal function

    June 24, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — There are new clues about malfunctions in brain cells that contribute to intellectual disability and possibly other developmental brain disorders. Professor Linda Van Aelst of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has been scrutinizing how the normal version of a protein called OPHN1 helps enable excitatory nerve transmission in the brain,...


    Unprecedented detail of intact neuronal receptor offers blueprint for drug developers

    Unprecedented detail of intact neuronal receptor offers blueprint for drug developers

    May 29, 2014

    NMDA receptor malfunction is implicated in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and stroke Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Biologists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) report today that they have succeeded in obtaining an unprecedented view of a type of brain-cell receptor that is implicated in a range of neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s...


    Dealing with stress—to cope or to quit?

    Dealing with stress—to cope or to quit?

    May 27, 2014

    Researchers identify neurons that determine whether an individual will be depressed or resilient Cold Spring Harbor, NY — We all deal with stress differently.  For many of us, stress is a great motivator, spurring a renewed sense of vigor to solve life’s problems. But for others, stress triggers depression. We become overwhelmed, paralyzed by hopelessness...


    Neurobiologists find chronic stress in early life causes anxiety, aggression in adulthood

    Neurobiologists find chronic stress in early life causes anxiety, aggression in adulthood

    March 27, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — In recent years, behavioral neuroscientists have debated the meaning and significance of a plethora of independently conducted experiments seeking to establish the impact of chronic, early-life stress upon behavior – both at the time that stress is experienced, and upon the same individuals later in life, during adulthood. These experiments,...


    For neurons in the brain, identity can be used to predict location

    For neurons in the brain, identity can be used to predict location

    March 24, 2014

    A new mathematical model uses gene expression data to predict where neurons are located throughout the brain Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Throughout the world, there are many different types of people, and their identity can tell a lot about where they live. The type of job they work, the kind of car they drive,...


    Celebrating Brain Awareness Week with DNALC’s <em>3D Brain</em>–revolutionizing education in the classroom and the doctor’s office

    Celebrating Brain Awareness Week with DNALC’s 3D Brain–revolutionizing education in the classroom and the doctor’s office

    March 14, 2014

    LabDish blog Written by Amy Nisselle, Ph.D., Multimedia & Evaluation Manager for the DNA Learning Center Today marks the end of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to increase awareness about the benefits of brain research. The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives has collaborated with the Society for Neuroscience to host events around the world,...


    Research reveals first glimpse of a brain circuit that helps experience to shape perception

    Research reveals first glimpse of a brain circuit that helps experience to shape perception

    March 2, 2014

    For the first time, scientists monitor inhibitory neurons that link sense of smell with memory and cognition in mice Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Odors have a way of connecting us with moments buried deep in our past.  Maybe it is a whiff of your grandmother’s perfume that transports you back decades.  With that single...


    Scientists discover a new pathway for fear deep within the brain

    Scientists discover a new pathway for fear deep within the brain

    February 12, 2014

    ‘Far-reaching’ neurons connect the amygdala with fear response center to control behavior Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Fear is primal. In the wild, it serves as a protective mechanism, allowing animals to avoid predators or other perceived threats. For humans, fear is much more complex. A normal amount keeps us safe from danger. But in...


    Unprecedented structural insights reveal how NMDA receptors can be blocked, to limit neurotoxicity

    Unprecedented structural insights reveal how NMDA receptors can be blocked, to limit neurotoxicity

    January 22, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Structural biologists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and collaborators at Emory University have obtained important scientific results likely to advance efforts to develop new drugs targeting NMDA receptors in the brain. NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptors are found on the surface of many nerve cells and are involved in signaling...


    Scientists discover two proteins that control chandelier cell architecture

    Scientists discover two proteins that control chandelier cell architecture

    January 16, 2014

    Chandelier cells, a group of powerful inhibitory neurons, are important in epilepsy and schizophrenia Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Chandelier cells are neurons that use their unique shape to act like master circuit breakers in the brain’s cerebral cortex. These cells have dozens, often hundreds, of branching axonal projections – output channels from the cell...


    Neuron ‘claws’ in the brain enable flies to distinguish one scent from another

    Neuron ‘claws’ in the brain enable flies to distinguish one scent from another

    October 20, 2013

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Think of the smell of an orange, a lemon, and a grapefruit.  Each has strong acidic notes mixed with sweetness.  And yet each fresh, bright scent is distinguishable from its relatives.  These fruits smell similar because they share many chemical compounds.  How, then does the brain tell them apart?  How...


    Study shows how neurons enable us to know smells we like and dislike, whether to approach or retreat

    Study shows how neurons enable us to know smells we like and dislike, whether to approach or retreat

    October 7, 2013

    Some basic biology learned from study of fruit flies could help us understand food choice in obese people. Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Think of the smell of freshly baking bread. There is something in that smell, without any other cues – visual or tactile – that steers you toward the bakery.  On the flip side,...


    CSHL neuroscientists identify class of cortical inhibitory neurons that specialize in disinhibition

    CSHL neuroscientists identify class of cortical inhibitory neurons that specialize in disinhibition

    October 6, 2013

    An inhibitory neuron type is found to specifically suppress the activation of other inhibitory neurons in cerebral cortex. Cold Spring Harbor, NY – The cerebral cortex contains two major types of neurons: principal neurons that are excitatory and interneurons that are inhibitory, all interconnected within the same network. New research now reveals that one class...


    Science Shorts: The social brain and autism

    Science Shorts: The social brain and autism

    October 3, 2013

    LabDish blog Check out this SCIENCE SHORT—“The Social Brain and Autism”—in which postdoctoral researcher Yongsoo Kim, Ph.D., of Associate Professor Pavel Osten’s laboratory helps us understand more about how we are using mice to study behaviors associated with autism. Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88...


    Team demonstrates power of precision medicine in successful treatment of patient with disabling OCD

    Team demonstrates power of precision medicine in successful treatment of patient with disabling OCD

    October 3, 2013

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A multidisciplinary team led by a geneticist and psychiatrist from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics today publish a paper providing a glimpse of both the tremendous power and the current limitations of what is sometimes called “precision medicine.” Precision medicine is an approach to diagnosis...


    4 CSHL neuroscientists win NARSAD Young Investigator awards to study autism, schizophrenia

    4 CSHL neuroscientists win NARSAD Young Investigator awards to study autism, schizophrenia

    August 14, 2013

    Four early-career neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have been awarded prestigious NARSAD Young Investigator grants Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Four early-career neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have been awarded prestigious NARSAD Young Investigator grants.  The announcement was made by the Great Neck, N.Y.-based Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF). The...


    Analysis of 26 networked autism genes suggests functional role in the cerebellum

    Analysis of 26 networked autism genes suggests functional role in the cerebellum

    July 17, 2013

    Gene co-expression study is based on data in the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas Cold Spring Harbor, NY – A team of scientists has obtained intriguing insights into two groups of autism candidate genes in the mammalian brain that new evidence suggests are functionally and spatially related.  The newly published analysis identifies two networked groupings from...


    The discerning fruit fly: Linking brain-cell activity and behavior in smell recognition

    The discerning fruit fly: Linking brain-cell activity and behavior in smell recognition

    June 18, 2013

    It takes as few as 25 brain cells for a fly to characterize and distinguish among odors Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Behind the common expression “you can’t compare apples to oranges” lies a fundamental question of neuroscience: How does the brain recognize that apples and oranges are different? A group of neuroscientists at Cold...


    One experiment: Capturing a drug in its binding pocket

    One experiment: Capturing a drug in its binding pocket

    June 1, 2013

    This computer-generated 3-D image, from Erkan Karakas, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of CSHL Associate Professor Hiro Furukawa, reveals in exquisite detail the shape of a previously elusive binding pocket for a drug that may help treat neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as brain damage from stroke. The neuroprotective drug...


    Neuroscience research brief: Rats take high-speed multisensory snapshots

    Neuroscience research brief: Rats take high-speed multisensory snapshots

    May 7, 2013

    Smell and touch, sniffing and “whisking,” are locked in sync Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. — When animals are on the hunt for food they likely use many senses, and scientists have wondered how the different senses work together. New research from the laboratory of CSHL neuroscientist and Assistant Professor Adam Kepecs shows that when rats...


    Scientists discover how brain’s auditory center transmits information for decisions and actions

    Scientists discover how brain’s auditory center transmits information for decisions and actions

    May 1, 2013

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – When a pedestrian hears the screech of a car’s brakes, she has to decide whether, and if so, how, to move in response.  Is the action taking place blocks away, or 20 feet to the left? One of the truly primal mechanisms that we depend on every day of our...


    CSHL neuroscientists show ’jumping genes’ may contribute to aging-related brain defects

    CSHL neuroscientists show ’jumping genes’ may contribute to aging-related brain defects

    April 7, 2013

    Transposon abundance and activity in the fruit fly brain increases with age and correlates with neurological degeneration. Cold Spring Harbor, NY — As the body ages, the physical effects are notable; wrinkles in the skin appear, physical exertion becomes harder. But there are also less visible processes going on. Inside aging brains there is another...


    Neuroscience research brief: Can you smell that?

    Neuroscience research brief: Can you smell that?

    March 27, 2013

    A discovery about how brain circuits engage memory in response to odor An organism’s genetic information is stored in its genes, chemical blueprints for the manufacture of proteins. Over a decade ago, however, a new class of genes was identified that do not code for proteins. Instead, they encode small RNA molecules, known as microRNAs,...


    CSHL neuroscientists pinpoint location of fear memory in amygdala

    CSHL neuroscientists pinpoint location of fear memory in amygdala

    January 27, 2013

    Fear responses based on experience are encoded in a circuit in the central amygdala Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A rustle of undergrowth in the outback: it’s a sound that might make an animal or person stop sharply and be still, in the anticipation of a predator. That “freezing” is part of the fear response,...


    An experimental neuroscience course in the heart of Transylvania

    An experimental neuroscience course in the heart of Transylvania

    December 19, 2012

    LabDish blog It’s no small feat to put together a state-of-the-art neuroscience lab and summer course. Remarkably, CSHL Assistant Professor Florin Albeanu managed just that, and did so in the picturesque heart of his home country, Romania. The 2012 Transylvania Experimental Neuroscience Summer School was a great success and the 2013 announcement has just gone...


    One experiment: A journey to human biology’s final frontier, the brain

    One experiment: A journey to human biology’s final frontier, the brain

    December 1, 2012

    Via a Web-based portal built by his lab team—www.mouse.brainarchitecture.org—CSHL Professor Partha Mitra takes us on a journey to the final frontier of human biology, the brain. His team is fast closing in on their goal of providing the first whole-brain circuit map of the mouse. The rationale: to generate a reference wiring diagram to identify...


    Scientists solve birth and migration mysteries of cortex’s powerful inhibitors, ‘chandelier’ cells

    Scientists solve birth and migration mysteries of cortex’s powerful inhibitors, ‘chandelier’ cells

    November 21, 2012

    Team shows how embryonic origin and timing influence cell specification and network integration Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The cerebral cortex of the human brain has been called “the crowning achievement of evolution.” Ironically, it is so complex that even our greatest minds and most sophisticated science are only now beginning to understand how it...


    Neuroscientists propose a revolutionary DNA-based approach to map wiring of the whole brain

    Neuroscientists propose a revolutionary DNA-based approach to map wiring of the whole brain

    October 22, 2012

    Novel approach to ‘connectome’ assembly via genetic barcoding Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A team of neuroscientists have proposed a new and potentially revolutionary way of obtaining a neuronal connectivity map (the “connectome”) of the whole brain of the mouse.  The details are set forth in an essay published October 23 in the open-access journal...


    Scientists reverse Alzheimer’s-like memory loss in animal models by blocking EGFR signaling

    Scientists reverse Alzheimer’s-like memory loss in animal models by blocking EGFR signaling

    September 24, 2012

    EGFR inhibitors used to fight cancer show surprising efficacy in fly, mouse models of beta amyloid-associated memory loss Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A team of neuroscientists and chemists from the U.S. and China today publish research suggesting that a class of currently used anti-cancer drugs as well as several previously untested synthetic compounds show...


    Neuroscientists reach major milestone in whole-brain circuit mapping project

    Neuroscientists reach major milestone in whole-brain circuit mapping project

    May 31, 2012

    Remarkable imagery enables viewers to journey into the recesses of the mouse brain, following neural connections from end to end Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) reached an important milestone today, publicly releasing the first installment of data from the 500 terabytes so far collected in their pathbreaking project...


    CSHL Assistant Professor Anne Churchland receives 2012 McKnight Scholar Award

    CSHL Assistant Professor Anne Churchland receives 2012 McKnight Scholar Award

    May 17, 2012

    CSHL neuroscientist Anne Churchland is one of seven recipients of the 2012 McKnight Scholar Award.  Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Assistant Professor Anne Churchland, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is one of six recipients of the 2012 McKnight Scholar Award. Given annually since 1977, the Awards are the vehicle through which the McKnight Foundation...


    Study shows rats match humans in decision-making that involves combining different sensory cues

    Study shows rats match humans in decision-making that involves combining different sensory cues

    March 13, 2012

    Findings establish a model to study how the brain processes multisensory information, a process that goes awry in autism spectrum disorders Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y—The next time you set a trap for that rat running around in your basement, here’s something to consider: you are going up against an opponent whose ability to assess the...


    Double duty: How an anti-cancer protein guards neurons against death after stroke

    Double duty: How an anti-cancer protein guards neurons against death after stroke

    February 28, 2012

    LabDish blog Cancer biologists know the PTEN gene as a powerful tumor suppressor and one that is among the most commonly deleted genes in human cancer. For more than a decade, CSHL’s Dr. Lloyd Trotman has studied the role of PTEN in cancer, developing many of the animal models that have delivered key insights into...


    Gene mutation in autism found to cause hyperconnectivity in brain’s hearing center

    Gene mutation in autism found to cause hyperconnectivity in brain’s hearing center

    January 31, 2012

    Hyperconnectivity triggered by loss of PTEN gene can be blocked by treatment with rapamycin Cold Spring Harbor, NY — New research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) might help explain how a gene mutation found in some autistic individuals leads to difficulties in processing auditory cues and paying spatial attention to sound. The study has...


    CSHL team introduces automated imaging to greatly speed whole-brain mapping efforts

    CSHL team introduces automated imaging to greatly speed whole-brain mapping efforts

    January 12, 2012

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A new technology developed by neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) transforms the way highly detailed anatomical images can be made of whole brains.  Until now, means of obtaining such images—used in cutting-edge projects to map the mammalian brain—have been painstakingly slow and available only to a handful of...


    GABA signaling prunes back copious ‘provisional’ synapses during neural circuit assembly

    GABA signaling prunes back copious ‘provisional’ synapses during neural circuit assembly

    January 3, 2012

    Early in cortical development, the neurotransmitter GABA triggers a pruning back of incompatible preliminary synaptic connections Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Quite early in its development, the mammalian brain has all the raw materials on hand to forge complex neural networks.  But forming the connections that make these intricate networks so exquisitely functional is a...


    CSHL team finds evidence for the genetic basis of autism

    CSHL team finds evidence for the genetic basis of autism

    October 3, 2011

    Models of autism show that gene copy number controls brain structure and behavior Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered that one of the most common genetic alterations in autism—deletion of a 27-gene cluster on chromosome 16—causes autism-like features. By generating mouse models of autism using a technique...


Dinu Florin Albeanu

Dinu Florin Albeanu

How does the brain encode stimuli from the outside world to give rise to perceptions? What does a smell look like in the brain? The focus of my group is to understand how neural circuits compute sensory-motor transformations across different contexts, senses, and brain states to generate meaningful behaviors.

Anne Churchland

Anne Churchland

Animals are faced with many decisions. They must integrate information from a variety of sources – sensory inputs like smell and sound as well as memories and innate impulses – to arrive at a single behavioral output. My laboratory investigates the neural circuits that underlie decision-making.

Tatiana Engel

Tatiana Engel

My lab investigates how perception and cognition arise from changes in neural activity. We develop and apply computational methods to discover dynamic patterns in large-scale neural activity recordings. We then create mathematical models to explain how these activity changes emerge from signaling between neurons, ultimately driving behavior.

Hiro Furukawa

Hiro Furukawa

The nervous system transmits information by passing chemical signals from one nerve cell to the others. This signal transmission relies on a variety of proteins to receive and transmit the chemical signals. My group studies the structure and function of neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels that regulate fundamental neuronal activities.

Z. Josh Huang

Z. Josh Huang

Studies the development and organization of neural circuits in the mouse cerebral cortex. His team uses an integrated approach to identify neuronal cell types and discover how they interact to process information and guide behavior, focusing on the motor cortex that controls forelimb movement. His studies of inhibitory interneurons, such as chandelier cells, have implications for understanding schizophrenia and autism.

Adam Kepecs

Adam Kepecs

My lab studies the neurobiological principles underlying cognition and decision-making. Using state-of-the-art technologies, we interrogate neural circuits in rodents as they perform a task. We validate our findings with analogous tasks in humans. We hope to define the neural circuits underlying decisions that will inform the development of new therapies for psychiatric diseases.

Alexei Koulakov

Alexei Koulakov

The complexity of the mammalian brain challenges our ability to explain it. My group applies methods from mathematics and theoretical physics to understand the brain. We are generating novel ideas about neural computation and brain development, including how neurons process information, how brain networks assemble during development, and how brain architecture evolved to facilitate its function.

Bo Li

Bo Li

My group studies the neural circuits underlying cognitive function and dysfunction as they relate to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and autism. We use sophisticated technologies to manipulate specific neural circuits in the rodent brain to determine their role in behavior. We are interested in changes in synaptic strength that may underlie mental disorders.

Gholson Lyon

Gholson Lyon

My group focuses on human genetics and genomic medicine, with an emphasis on diseases with severe neuropsychiatric manifestations. We collect large family pedigrees and use whole-genome sequencing to define mutations that correlate with the syndromes. We then undertake detailed functional characterization of these mutations.

Partha Mitra

Partha Mitra

A theoretical physicist by training, my research is centered around intelligent machines. I do both theoretical and experimental work. The theoretical work is focussed on analyzing distributed/networked algorithms in the context of control theory and machine learning, using tools from statistical physics. My lab is involved in brain-wide mesoscale circuit mapping in the Mouse as well as in the Marmoset. An organizing idea behind my research is that there may be common underlying mathematical principles that constrain evolved biological systems and human-engineered systems.

Pavel Osten

Pavel Osten

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.

Stephen Shea

Stephen Shea

When confronted with another individual, social animals use multiple sensory inputs ­ smells, sounds, sights, tastes, touches ­ to choose an appropriate behavioral response. My group studies how specific brain circuits support these natural communication behaviors and how disruptions in these circuits can lead to inappropriate use of social information, as in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Jessica Tollkuhn

Jessica Tollkuhn

I am interested in how transient events during development program neurons to take on a specific identity and function. More specifically, I am studying how estrogen and testosterone generate sex differences in the brain and behavior.

Linda Van Aelst

Linda Van Aelst

Normal cell function relies on coordinated communication between all the different parts of the cell. These communication signals control what a cell does, what shape it takes, and how it interacts with other cells. I study these signaling networks to understand how they guard against cancer and neurological disorders.

Anthony Zador

Anthony Zador

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.