My laboratory studies how sensory stimuli drive behavioral responses and internal states depending on past experience. We focus at the level of neural circuits, using olfaction as a model to address three central problems. First, we are working to anatomically and functionally delineate the circuitry that connects sensory representations to specific behavioral outcomes. Second, we are asking how learning transforms these circuits, and how neuromodulators shape and modify them. Third, we are asking how the brain maintains behavioral
plasticity, to allow for context dependent behavioral adaptations in response the same sensory stimulus. In understanding how learning links neutral olfactory stimuli with specificity and flexibility to appropriate behaviors, we hope to elucidate mechanisms fundamental to learning across all sensory modalities.