Entry Date:
January 14, 2009

Whole-Brain Analysis of Neural Function and Plasticity

Principal Investigator Alan Jasanoff

In parallel with our development of molecular tools, we are interested in studying the dynamics of neural systems as they form and function at the whole-brain level. We use brain imaging methods in combination with other neural recording and perturbation techniques in rodents. We have a strong interest in combining new behavioral paradigms with functional imaging methods to study animal learning and analogs of cognition. Ongoing work focuses on reinforcement learning and the process of reward integration in rats. In addition, we recently used conventional fMRI in developing rats to follow neural plasticity and characterize changes in neurovascular coupling occurring after birth. This work lays a foundation for interpreting further fMRI studies in juvenile animals. We are also applying both conventional and molecular MRI techniques to study perturbation of neural systems in mouse models of neurodegenerative disease.