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 to memory and memory-based action selection. 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. Our goal is to understand the cellular and circuit mechanisms of cognition and behavior within the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex system and advance knowledge critical to translational goals in mental health issues.

The primary experimental approach in the lab is to record neural activity in freely-behaving animals using high-density drivable arrays of tetrodes while simultaneously using cutting-edge genetic and pharmacological tools to manipulate specific circuits as animals perform complex behavioral tasks. Additionally, functional neuroimaging and tractography is used in human populations via our close collaborations with colleagues in the Cognitive Neuroscience Program, the Center for Children and Families, Cognitive Neuroscience & Imaging Center, and the Department of Psychology. These cross-species approaches help extend our findings from animal experiments to human populations, and facilitate translational research.

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