Allen Neurocircuitry & Cognition Lab | FIU

The lab studies the contributions of circuits connecting the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex, including the nucleus reuniens of the thalamus and perirhinal cortex, to memory and behavior. Importantly, the connections between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex are abnormal in several mental health disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, developmental lead neurotoxicity, epilepsy, and ADHD), yet the exact nature of connectivity irregularities remains unclear.

In our experiments, we record neural activity in rats and pigs using high-density drivable arrays of tetrodes and silicon probes in combination with cutting-edge genetic and pharmacological tools to manipulate circuits (including use of optogenetics and DREADDs) as animals perform complex behavioral tasks. We use also tracers and immunohistochemistry to further detail the anatomy. Additionally, functional neuroimaging and tractography is used in pig and human populations. This cross-species translational research pipeline helps extend our findings from rodents to humans, and facilitate discovery.

The lab is proud to work with many colleagues at FIU including in the Cognitive Neuroscience Program, the Center for Children and Families (CCF), the Department of Psychology, the Center for Imaging Science (CIS) and the Brain, Behavior and the Environment Program (BBE).

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