Neural Circuit Assembly and Development

Sensory experience itself, during sensitive or so-called critical periods of development, is required for the proper construction of neuronal circuits that are then used for subsequent behavioral adaptation and learning. This iterative developmental process ensures that the circuits of a given individual are specifically tailored to process the sensory information encountered in the individual’s own local environment.
We are interested in identifying the specific biological circuits that initiate critical period learning in young but are absent in the adult. Furthermore, orderly construction of circuits, including precise connectivity between diverse cell types and development of intrinsic membrane properties during postnatal development, is essential for future learning. We are currently testing the impact of accelerated, precocious circuit development on adult learning and flexibility of behavior.