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Mouse brain with fluorescent neurons

The external world strongly influences how our sensory systems process information. Auditory neurons demonstrate remarkable selectivity for a restricted set of sound features, and they can maintain this selectivity across a wide range of acoustic environments. These fundamental aspects of auditory processing are of great importance for understanding how the auditory system accurately encodes complex sounds, such as speech. My research is focused on uncovering the synaptic and circuit-level mechanisms that support these abilities. I'm particularly interested in cortical mechanisms that enhance or suppress the neuronal representation of specific features of sounds because this allows neurons to fine-tune their receptive fields, a key feature of cortical sound encoding. I utilize 2-photon calcium imaging in awake animals, whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology in acute brain slices, transgenic animal models, optogenetic stimulation, and animal behavioral assays to address these questions.

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