Description of Research Expertise:
Our lab focuses on understanding how the human brain transforms olfactory inputs into perceptual representations, and how learning, memory, and experience modulate this information to enhance odor object recognition and discrimination at the behavioral, cognitive, and neural levels.
Sensory Systems and Perception; Olfaction; Behavioral Neuroscience; Cognitive Neuroscience; Functional MRI; Intracranial EEG; Psychophysics; Neuroanatomy and Immunostaining
Our research can be thematically organized into three broad components ranging from the microscopic to the macroscopic: molecular and cellular analysis of human olfactory tissue; in vivo electrophysiological analysis using intracranial EEG recordings in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy; and systems-level analysis using functional MRI and olfactory psychophysical techniques in human subjects, and also in mouse subjects. Currently even the most well-founded research assumptions – the cellular organization of the peripheral olfactory system; the cortical projection pathways and centrifugal feedback connections; the physiological coding principles that underlie odor processing and memory consolidation – remain almost completely untested in humans. Together these different research strands support a consolidated research platform to investigate human olfaction with a neuroscientific breadth intended to connect the dots from molecules to mind, and from health to disease.