Optical dissection of the neuronal circuits underlying mammalian navigation
The neuronal activity underlying mammalian spatial navigation represents one of the most striking examples of behavioral correlation in the brain. We are interested in the cellular and circuit mechanisms responsible for the neuronal activity that allows mammals to navigate and find their way to specific destinations. To accomplish this, we develop and apply novel optical and genetic techniques to perform cellular and subcellular resolution imaging and manipulation of neuronal population activity in mice navigating in virtual reality environments. By understanding the navigation circuitry, we hope to extract general principles about neuronal population dynamics in behaving mammals.