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Our laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms that control cellular, synaptic and circuit function in the basal ganglia of the brain, especially those that control motor planning, learning, and movement. Our long-term goal is to understand how neural activity and plasticity in these circuits shapes motor behavior and how neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and dystonia affect synaptic, cellular and circuit function in the basal ganglia.
The control of movement is among the most fundamental functions of the nervous system. The basal ganglia, and the striatum in particular, play a critical role in the selection and learning of appropriate actions. Individuals suffering from movement disorders such as PD or dystonia have profound difficulties performing appropriate movements, yet the relation between aberrant neural activity and motor problems is not well understood. A thorough knowledge of the mechanisms underlying circuit function in the basal ganglia, both in health and disease, will provide a framework that can be used to develop novel treatments for neurological disorders.
- Society for Neuroscience
- International Basal Ganglia Society
- Circuit Therapeutics (Scientific Advisory Board)
- University of California, Berkeley
- Harvard University