Laboratory for Neural Computation
Our lab studies how the brain turns sensory information into perceptions. The physical stimuli reaching our eyes and ears are very complex, yet our perception of the outer world appears rather simple. To understand how we are able to interact with the physical world so efficiently, we study the fundamental principles by which brain circuits operate.
About the group
We currently focus our efforts on the neocortex, the outermost part of our brain that is important for most learned and flexible behaviors. We want to understand the logic behind the neural connections and how the emerging pattern of activity underlies the animal's behavior. Our central hypothesis is that the basic unit of the cortex -the pyramidal cell- associates sensory input with internal activity based on expectations and previous experience. Because sensory- and internal input occur on different parts of the dendritic tree and is under tight control by inhibitory neurons, we have a special interest in how dendrites integrate these two input streams.
By unraveling circuits for perception in the healthy brain, we expect to gain key insights into principles of mammalian brain function, and to provide a framework to understand how circuit dysfunction causes mental and behavioral aspects of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.