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  1. Systems Neuroscience



    We are interested in understanding the principles underlying the complex adaptive behavior of organisms. Starting with quantitative observations of animal behavior, we aim to integrate quantitative cellular and systems level experimental analysis of underlying neural mechanisms with theoretical, ecological and evolutionary contexts. Rats and mice provide flexible animal models that allow us monitor and manipulate neural circuits using electrophysiological, optical and molecular techniques. We have made progress using highly-controlled studies of a simple learned odor-cued decision task and are extending our focus toward more complex behaviors. Projects in the lab are wide-ranging and continually evolving. Current topics include (i) olfactory sensory decision-making, (ii) the function of the serotonin system, (iii) the role of uncertainty in brain function and behavior. 

    Watch a recent video about Mainen’s Lab research. 

Key publications