Systems Research

Cellular Basis of Sensory Information Processing

Sound, light, tactile, and chemical stimuli are translated into neural signals. The brain must process this information using neurons, neural networks, and synapses and ultimately create what we recognize as a sensory experience. The study of this underlying machinery is the heart of the cellular basis of information processing. Within the Department of Neuroscience are laboratories that study the cellular basis of sound localization, neural networks, neurotransmitters, synapse formation, and employ anatomical and electrophysiological methods both in vivo and in vitro.

Systems neuroscience follows the pathways of information flow within the central nervous system, attempts to define the kinds of processing occurring there, and uses this information to help explain behavioral functions. Investigators work to understand sensory and perceptual systems and motor control. Research groups are asking how axonal systems develop, how they respond to damage, and how they change as a result of alterations in internal, chemical, and sensory environmental conditions.