Molecular and Integrative Physiology Lab
Computational Biology, Ion Channels, Learning and Memory, Neurobiology, Pattern Formation, Sensory Processing
NEURAL BASIS OF DECISION
Our research activities are aimed at how animals organize their behavior by integrating motivation, experience and sensation. Our laboratory analyzes decision-making in behavioral expression and the underlying neural network circuitry. We analyze interactions of neural networks and the regulation of network activity by cell signalling pathways involving neuromodulatory messengers and second messenger pathways. We use the carnivorous marine snail Pleurobranchaea californica as a model system, taking advantage of the simple behavior and brain that underlie its success as a generalized predator. A corollary activity newly emerging as a result of the behavioral and physiological work is the development of software and hardware platforms for autonomous cost-benefit analysis of alternative behaviors for computational decision-making and robotics.