The fundamental question that drives research in our laboratory is gaining a better understanding of how brains operate to generate behavior.
We use a small, easy to rear vertebrate for our studies. In the past decade or so, a suite of techniques that allow genetic manipulation, behavioral analysis and neurophysiological observations have been developed that have made the zebrafish an immensely powerful system to study the genetic and neural mechanisms that underpin vertebrate behavior.
Vertebrates with smaller brains where genetic engineering can be applied with relative ease offer an unusual opportunity to uncover fundamental principles governing emergent behavior. With this as a long term goal, we focus on behaviors motivated by rewards or punishments or cues that predict either.
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