Earlier studies in our lab examined behavioral consequences of treatments producing permanent damage or temporary inactivation of the prefrontal cortex, thalamus, and the basal ganglia. Recently, we have transitioned from behavioral measures to electrophysiological recordings of single neuron activity in awake, behaving rats to examine the function of these pathways at a cellular level of analysis.
To model complex prefrontal-dependent decision-making for electrophysiological studies of the rat, we developed the dynamic delayed-nonmatching-to-position (dDNMTP) task with manipulations that allow us to characterize neural activity related to working memory, planning, choice, actions, spatial navigation, reward, and motivation. Recent papers from our lab have described the activity of neurons in medial prefrontal cortex and mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and the effects of reversible thalamic inactivation on medal prefrontal activity in rats performing the dDNMTP task. Please navigate over the tabs in the left hand column to explore our specific research projects.