The long-term goals of the laboratory are to understand information processing in the brain motivation/reward memory circuitry and identify the intrinsic neural mechanisms underlying attention, working memory and decision-making at the cellular level.
As a neurophysiology laboratory our goal is to combine behavioral, molecular genetic and detailed electrophysiological analysis to understand how psychostimulant drugs alter neuronal impulse activity leading to short and long-term changes in the ability of neurons within the mesolimbic dopamine system to communicate. Our approach to this problem utilizes state-of-the-art technology (e.g. DNA microarrays, laser capture microdissection, dendritic Ca imaging, infrared and fluorescence visualized patch-clamp physiology and intravenous drug self-administration) and complementary levels of analysis (e.g. behavior, in vivo and in vitro physiology, molecular techniques and computer simulation) in order to gain insight into how this system functions under normal and pathological conditions.
BBC article on single cell memory