Archives: Grants

Zinzhu Yu, Ph.D., University of Illinois

Astrocyte Contributions to Cortical Synaptic Plasticity

The brain processes and stores information by dynamically changing the structure and function of synaptic connections between individual neurons. This synaptic plasticity allows us to acquire new information, learn challenging skills and recover from brain injury and disease.

Christian R. Burgess, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Dopaminergic Contributions to Dexterous Skill in Cortex and Striatum

Coordinated multi-joint limb and digit movements – “manual dexterity” – underlie both specialized skills (e.g., playing the piano) and more mundane tasks (e.g., tying shoelaces). Impairments in dexterous skill cause significant disability, as occurs with motor cortical inj...

Natalia V. De Marco Garcia, Ph.D., Cornell University

A Circuit Mechanism for the Development of Cortico-cortical Connectivity

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 in 59 children in the US. Despite the high prevalence and the debilitating nature of these conditions, we have only a vague picture of what causes autism and therefore very few effective diagnostic tools or therapies have been developed.

Laura A. DeNardo, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Defining the Role of Early Life Experience in mPFC Circuit Assembly

The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a critical role in complex cognitive and emotional functions including decision making, mood and social behaviors. mPFC undergoes a uniquely protracted maturation which is likely essential to produce these complex behaviors, but also opens a prolonged win...

Sung Han, Ph.D., Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The Neural Basis of Opioid-induced Respiratory Depression

Opioids are the most commonly used and most effective analgesics, and are the first line of defense against acute and severe pain. However, this dramatic ability to mitigate pain comes with many side effects. These include constipation, nausea, sedation, dizziness, respiratory depression, depende...

Anirvan S. Nandy, Ph.D., Yale University

A New Paradigm for the Neuroscience of Navigation

How do social interactions dynamically shape the neural circuits of cognition? Maps of the physical and social environment (“cognitive maps”) in the brain have been theorized to be central to cognition. In highly social species like humans, cognitive computations frequently occur in s...

Won Chan Oh, Ph.D., University of Colorado

Role of Inhibitory Synapses in Shaping Excitatory Circuits

How memories are encoded in the brain is a central question in neuroscience. Our capacity to learn and recall past events is of extreme importance and loss of this ability is a hallmark feature of numerous devastating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Cody A. Siciliano, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Neural Mechanisms of Inferential Learning

The ability to make advantageous choices in uncertain situations is a fundamental behavioral process that allows for maximizing positive outcomes while minimizing negative ones. Many species are able to streamline this process by applying learned strategies to optimize choices in contexts that ha...

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