To study behavioral flexibility in freely-moving mice, we developed a versatile, low-cost, open-source behavioral setup, called FreiBox, allowing us to investigate the neuronal correlates of licking-based behavioral flexibility.
The ability to move is a fundamental feature of most animals which allows them to actively interact with our environment. We are investigating the underlying neural mechanisms and circuits of this ability. We do so with electrophysiological recordings and optogenetic manipulations combined with behavioral analysis. We look into the local processing of movement preparation and generation in the motor cortex as well as higher order structures, e.g. prefrontal cortex.
The goal is to create a better understanding of how neural subpopulations and pathways within and across brain areas influence motor behavior. In order to address these scientific aims we are constantly working on improving the existing techniques. We currently focus on the design of new optoelectronic probes and targeting strategies. Apart from advancing our basic knowledge about the neural mechanisms of movements, our results might help improving the design of new prosthetic devices and understanding of disorders in which the normal production of movements is disrupted.
This study proposes an unitary concept that, leveraging a cross-species definition of prefrontal regions, explains how prefrontal ensembles adaptively regulate and efficiently coordinate multiple processes in distinct cognitive behaviors.
This study provides mechanistic insights into the interactions between the rostral forelimb area (RFA) and the caudal forelimb area (CFA). Specifically, we provide evidence for a differential impact of RFA on CFA depending on the task phase and the targeted CFA layers.
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