Abnormal co-ordination of neuronal activity in cortico-basal ganglia networks underlies several neurological and psychiatric disorders. In many cases, the loss or disruption of one neuronal population leads to widespread changes in function across the entire network. Our objective is to understand how these processes cause disease and to develop therapeutic interventions that restore network function and reduce symptoms.
Our group examines function and dysfunction of cortical-basal ganglia-thalamic circuits in vivo, both at the level of single neurons and of populations of neurons recorded across different nodes of the network. To understand the working of forebrain circuits at the network level, we use high-density multi-electrode arrays that enable many neurons to be recorded from several structures simultaneously. We utilise both of these techniques to elucidate how cortical, basal ganglia and thalamic neurons generate network activities and examine the effects of perturbing different circuit components using electrical and optogenetic stimulation. By performing these experiments in the healthy brain and models of disease, these methods can be used to understand how co-ordinated network activity underlies the symptoms of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Our ultimate aim is to use the insights from these experiments to develop closed-loop electrical stimulation strategies to treat these diseases.
- Network mechanisms underlying pathological oscillations in Parkinson’s disease.
- Development of novel closed-loop deep brain stimulation approaches for brain disorders.
- The role of motor thalamo-cortical circuits in adaptive behaviour.
- Neuronal diversity and the role of interneurons in striatal microcircuits.
- Analysis of intraoperative recordings from functional neurosurgery
- Closed-loop deep brain stimulation
- Multichannel electrophysiological recordings
- Cell-type selective optogenetics
- Transynaptic tracing