Allen Neurocircuitry & Cognition Lab | FIU
The overarching goal of the lab is to understand the contributions of circuits connecting the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex, including those that travel through the nucleus reuniens of the thalamus, to memory and behavior. Importantly, the connections between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex are known to be abnormal in several mental health disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and ADHD), yet the exact nature and range of connectivity irregularities remains unclear.
The primary experimental approach in the lab is to record and manipulate neural activity in freely-behaving rats and pigs using high-density drivable arrays of tetrodes and silicon probes in combination with cutting-edge genetic and pharmacological tools to manipulate specific circuits as animals perform complex behavioral tasks. Additionally, functional neuroimaging and tractography is used in pig and human populations. The cross-species translational research pipelines helps extend our findings from rodent experiments to human populations, and facilitate discovery.
The lab has several collaborations with colleagues at FIU most notably in the Brain, Behavior and the Environment Program, the Cognitive Neuroscience Program, the Center for Children and Families, and the Department of Psychology.