Lines of investigation
What we see usually determines how we act. Yet, orienting to visual events of interest while ignoring distractions, in spite of its seemingly effortless execution, belies a complex and multi-level behaviour that can be shaped suitably during tasks but also through the visual experiences of other individuals. How the nervous system achieves this versatility in visual-based behaviour is a fundamental, yet unresolved, question in neuroscience.
Our aim is to understand – at the cell and circuit level – how we adapt vision into behavior. To study this problem, we are developing and using a combination of techniques that rely on the use of viral-based approaches, whole-cell & in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics and computation for the quantification of animal behavior.
Our current research objectives are designed to provide a comprehensive investigation on the visual and frontocortical control of orienting neurons in the mouse superior colliculus, which act as a shared platform for selectively launching goal-based or target-based movement in Eulerian space. We anticipate our studies will update the current views on the processes involved in the versatile control of visual attention at the level of the individual neuron by unravelling key principles linking vision to action.
- Flowing from sense to action. Are neural integrators necessary? Kardamakis AA J Physiol 2018 596(24):6131 https://doi.org/10.1113/JP276927
- Direct Dopaminergic Projections from the SNc Modulate Visuomotor Transformation in the Lamprey Tectum. Pérez-Fernández J, Kardamakis AA, Suzuki DG, Robertson B, Grillner S. Neuron 2017 96(4):910-924.e5 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.051
- Spatiotemporal interplay between multisensory excitation and recruited inhibition in the lamprey optic tectum. Kardamakis AA, Pérez-Fernández J, Grillner S Elife 2016 5:e16472 http://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16472
- Tectal microcircuit generating visual selection commands on gaze-controlling neurons. Kardamakis AA, Saitoh K, Grillner S. PNAS 2015 112(15):E1956-65 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1504866112
- Optimal control of gaze shifts Kardamakis AA, Moschovakis AK J Neurosci 2009 29(24): 7723-30 http://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5518-08.2009