Specialized junctions between neurons (synapses)
that lead to changes in brain function.
Image courtesy of Serkan Oray
Our brains constantly remodel to adapt to a changing environment. The focus of our group is to understand the structural and functional changes that occur at the specialized junctions between neurons (synapses) that lead to changes in brain function. Our group uses advanced imaging techniques to study the structure and function of single synapses in networks in the intact brain. Although a vast literature describes the development and function of neuronal connectivity, most of this work has been carried out in culture and excised or fixed tissue, where dynamic processes are inferred from static images compared across animals. Little is known about the function of subcellular compartments in the computations carried out by neurons in vivo. The goal of our work is to understand structural and functional changes occurring at synapses during plasticity elicited by sensory stimuli.