Functional Development of Mammalian Visual System
A fascinating question in Neurobiology is how precise patterns of synaptic connections emerge during development. It is known that neuronal activity, both spontaneous and sensory-induced, plays an important role in the formation and maturation of neural circuits. By integrating in vivo electrophysiology, functional imaging, genetics, behavioral and computational approaches, we study the neural basis of activity-dependent development in the mouse visual system. (1) how critical period plasticity reorganizes and fine-tunes synaptic connections in the cortex to ensure normal visual functions; (2) cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie visual map refinement by patterned neuronal activity in the developing brain.