Associate Professor of NeuroscienceThe long-term goal of my research is to understand the role of sensory experience in shaping the connectivity and functional properties of developing neural circuits, as well as it's implications for neurodevelopmental disorders. We focus on the visual system of Xenopus laevis tadpoles; a preparation amenable to a variety of experimental approaches, ranging from molecular biology, single-cell electrophysiology, live cell imaging, computational modeling, and behavior.
Robert and Nancy CarneyOur laboratory studies how the mammalian brain processes olfactory information and translates it into behavioral outputs. We are developing a new method for transsynaptic labeling of neural circuits combining molecular biology and mouse genetics. This method will enable us to map and characterize the neural circuits that the brain uses to process olfactory information. We also study the role of odorant receptors in the wiring of olfactory circuits. Finally, we are developing a molecular method to selectively record the activation of particular dopamine receptor subtypes in mice.
Professor of Medical ScienceMy lab studies what the eye tells the brain. We explore the structure and function of ganglion cells, the retinal neurons that communicate directly with the brain. There are more than a dozen types of ganglion cells. Each has anatomical and physiological features matched to the requirements of specific visual behaviors. We recently discovered a bizarre new type that is a true photoreceptor, responding directly to light like a rod or cone. These cells synchronize the biological clock and constrict the pupil. We seek to understand how these cells work and how their signals are used by the brain.
Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and NeuroscienceMy research is in theoretical neuroscience, computational vision, and computational linguistics. I study the mechanisms used by brains to create and work with complex, detailed, hierarchical representations of the external world. With colleagues in neuroscience and applied math, I investigate the hypothesis that the fine temporal structure of cortical activity, e.g. the synchronous firing of neurons, plays an important role in these representations.
Professor of PsychologyMy research program uses neuroanatomical, experimental lesion, optogenetic, and electrophysiological approaches to examine the contribution of brain regions adjacent to the hippocampus (including the perirhinal, postrhinal/parahippocampal, and entorhinal cortices) to memory and to other higher cognitive functions.
Professor and ChairI study the cellular physiology of the mammalian brain. Most of my work centers on the neocortex, which is responsible for thinking, remembering, processing sensory information, and controlling movement. The neocortex is a vast network of interconnected neurons. My research group studies the properties of these neurons, their synaptic connections, and the characteristics of cortical networks. We are also interested in the mechanisms of epileptic seizures.
ProfessorLeon Cooper studies neural networks, including architecture, learning rules, and real world applications; the biological basis of memory and learning; mean field theories; the foundations of quantum theory; and superconductivity.
Professor of NeuroscienceOur laboratory investigates how the brain turns thought into voluntary behaviors and how that knowledge can be used to help persons with paralysis. We study how populations of neurons represent and transform information as a motor plan becomes movement. This approach has required the creation of a novel recording array to study neural ensembles. With the knowledge we have gained about movement representation, we have translated our findings to a clinical application in which humans with paralysis can use their neurons directly to control devices.
Professor of Medical ScienceOur lab has two major interests. Duchenne muscular dystrophy strikes one in 3,000 boys. We are currently working to translate our basic science findings into a novel treatment for Duchenne's patients.
Second, how do we learn, and why are we so good at it when we are young? Using Fragile X mental retardation as a model, we seek to understand how ephemeral episodes of experience are transformed into stable changes in synaptic architecture and efficacy.
Professor of BiologyAnne Hart is a neurobiologist who uses genetic and molecular approaches in the small nematode C. elegans to understand the conserved mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease and nervous system function. She focuses on delineating cellular and molecular pathways pertinent to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Dr. Hart also studies how animals respond to sensory stimuli, adapt to environmental stress, and mechanisms of aging.
ProfessorMy laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity and modulation of neuronal excitability using modern electrophysiological techniques in brain slices. Our work is related to understanding fundamental processes in memory, in drug addiction and in chronic pain.
Lecturer in Neuroscience
Professor of NeuroscienceWe are interested in the cellular mechanisms used to optimize calcium ion channel function. Calcium ion channels regulate many critical neuronal functions including transmitter release, nerve growth, and synaptic plasticity. Our current research focus is on cell-specific alternative splicing in the mammalian nervous system. We study cellular mechanisms that control calcium channel function in normal as well as in disease states, including chronic pain and mental illness.
Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience
Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Sidney A. and Dorothea Doctors Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Professor of NeuroscienceHumans are highly visual animals and the processing of visual information appears to involve a significant fraction of the brain. Vision involves interactions between neurons spread widely across the brain and it dynamically adapts to the needs of ongoing behavior. The aims of Dr. Paradiso's research are to elucidate the encoding of visual information in cerebral cortex, the computations performed by interacting neurons, and the adaptive use of neural circuitry, with the goal of understanding the mechanisms underlying human visual perception.
Associate Professor of Medical ScienceOur research is aimed at elucidating how alterations in neurotransmitter activity in the central nervous system influence behavior. We are especially interested in determining how chronic administration of a psychoactive drug, such as amphetamine, alters brain functioning from both a behavioral and transmitter point of view.
Professor of NeuroscienceI study brain mechanisms underlying motor control and learning. Several brain regions, including the frontal and parietal lobes, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum, have involvement in voluntary movements, and these areas become engaged when humans learn and then consolidate new motor skills. Currently, we study these problems with magnetic resonance imaging technology that assesses focal changes in blood flow and by assessing movement patterns while humans perform various movement tasks.
Professor of NeuroscienceResearch in my lab explores how we identify objects and events in the real world, where both the observer and the environment change over time. The brain must process a dynamic stream of sensory information and efficiently parse this information to reach conclusions about the presence or absence of noteworthy objects to which actions should be directed. By studying the activity of neural circuits involved in this process, we aim to better understand mechanisms underlying perception.
ProfessorMy laboratory studies how the nervous system develops, matures, and reorganizes in response to damage. We use frogs as a model system because these animals go through a lengthy larval stage during which their bodies and brains transform to accommodate the transition from an aquatic to an amphibious lifestyle. As adults, frogs can regenerate damaged hair cells and cranial nerves, making them excellent models to understand the molecular bases of how the brain might recover from injury.
Professor of BiologyI'm interested in understanding how the bat's sonar works and how the bat's brain makes sonar images. They make sounds, listen to echoes, and then see objects. To study echolocation, we go into the field and videotape bats using sonar for different purposes. These observations tell us in what situations bats use their sonar, and what sorts of sounds they use. If we know where the objects are in the videos, we can figure out what sounds get back to the bats.
Senior Lecturer in NeuroscienceOutside of teaching and administrative duties at Brown, I have spent a good deal of time over the past eight years participating in science outreach activities in the local community. I am currently collaborating with members of the Brown community and local professionals on an NCRR/NIH Science Education Partnership Award titled Project ARISE: Advancing Rhode Island Science Education. The goal of this project is to develop innovative science instruction in local high school science classrooms.