How do neural circuits in the brain’s cerebral cortex mediate sensation, memory, voluntary movement, and higher functions, and how does this break down in neurological disease? Our lab seeks to answer these questions by studying cortical function at the synaptic, circuit, and information processing levels. We study how cortical circuits process sensory information, adapt to experience, and store information during learning. We investigate the cellular and circuit mechanisms for brain plasticity, and the homeostatic mechanisms that maintain proper cortical function across age and experience. We study the micro-organization of sensory maps in the cortex to reveal principles of information processing and circuit design. We apply this understanding of normal brain function to develop new insights into neurological disorders, including autism and epilepsy.
Over time, the demand for expanded services has changed the roles of the respective laboratories operating under the umbrella of the Agricultural Services Laboratories. In order to more clearly identify with these changes, the individual laboratories were renamed in 1996 to include the Soil, Plant, and Water Laboratory, the Feed and Environmental Water Laboratory, and the Pesticide and Hazardous Waste Laboratory. Likewise, the overall unit was renamed the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories to more clearly show the critical linkage of agriculture and the environment.