Students examining an image on a computer screen

Single neurons within the brain communicate mostly through synapses. Together these neurons form brain circuits and large assemblies for processing and integrating sensory information. Ultimately, the brain needs to generate appropriate behavioral responses.

Using a combination of classical methods along with novel techniques such as functional MRI and optogenetics we start to unravel the mystery of brain function. Genetic, developmental or environmental impacts often cause altered neuronal signalling that lead to mental disorders or neurodegenerative diseases.

Often in collaboration with cell biologists members of the department study changes in neuronal signaling and behavior associated with tinnitus and hearing loss, schizophrenia, drug addiction, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, stroke, and psychopathic behavior.

Faculty: Brian Allman, Nathalie Berube, Arthur Brown, David Cechetto, Sandrine De Ribaupierre, Martin Duennwald, Patrick Lajoie, Steven Laviolette, Derek Mitchell, Marco Prado, Vania Prado, Raj Rajakumar, Walter Rushlow, Susanne Schmid, Paul Walton, and Shawn Whitehead.