Most of the experiments in my laboratory involve recordings made directly from the brains of experimental animals during behavior. In these experiments, we are able to study not only the intricate circuits comprising real networks of nerves and neurons, but also the signals produced by individual neurons during movement. Much of this work is done in collaboration with students and faculty from the Biomedical Engineering Department and the Institute for Neuroscience (NUIN). The three fundamental goals of my research are the following:
To understand the nature of the brain's own signals -- the "language" in which movement command signals are expressed by neurons in the central nervous system.
To understand the mechanisms by which these signals are produced -- the nature of the connections among networks of neurons, and the transformations that occur in the signals as they propagate throughout these networks.
To develop applications of these basic principles that could be of therapeutic value to human patients.
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