Lines of investigation

The basal ganglia are involved in a wide range of functions including decision-making, reward motor learning and selection motor sequences, all of which require integration of sensory and motor information. Problems in the basal ganglia function can generate numerous and diverse neurological disorders, for example: Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dystonia and also attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The striatum (caudate nucleus & putamen) is the “door” or input layer of the basal ganglia that receives inputs from multiple cortical areas as prefrontal, motor or sensory, and thalamus. The striatum is best known for its role in planning and selecting motor sequences. But selection of proper motor sequences also requires the prioritizing of sensory information. Sensory information from different modalities such as tactile, visual, auditory or olfactory, all converge in the striatum. All of these simultaneous inputs have to be processed, filtered and integrated in order to select the appropriate ones. How striatal neurons process the information is largely unknown. We aim to study the role of the striatum in the sensory processing and its interplay with motor functions. To answer this question we use complementary electrophysiological, optical and anatomical methods.

Representative Publications

Main Investigator
Doctor Investigador
Doctor Investigador
Predoctor / Support Investigation
Predoctor / Support Investigation

Research groups of Unit

Cellular and Systems Neurobiology

Research groups of Scientific Program

Synaptic modulation of neural circuits and behavior