My research group studies the functions of neurons, synapses (electrical and chemical), and circuits in the mammalian forebrain. We have developed experimental strategies that combine electrophysiology, optogenetics, imaging, anatomy, and computation, with in vitro and in vivo preparations. We use mice in order to leverage the unique genetic tools available for them. Our goals are to understand the neural mechanisms of thalamo-cortico-thalamic dynamics and functions during behavior.
Neske GT, Connors BW. Distinct roles of SOM and VIP interneurons during cortical Up states. Frontiers Neural Circuits, 10:52.
Crandall SR, Cruikshank SJ, Connors, BW. A corticothalamic switch: controlling the thalamus with dynamic synapses. Neuron, 86:768–782, 2015.
Ho JW, Poeta DL, Jacobson TK, Zolnik TA, Neske GT, Connors BW, Burwell RD. Bidirectional Modulation of Recognition Memory. J Neurosci, 35:13323-13335, 2015.
Cruikshank SJ, Ahmed OJ, Stevens TR, Patrick SL, Gonzalez AN, Elmaleh M, Connors BW. Thalamic control of layer 1 circuits in prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci, 32: 17813-17823, 2012.
Normand ER, Crandall SR, Thorne CA, Murphy EM, Voelcker B, Browning C, Machan JT, Moore CI, Connors BW, Zervas M. Temporal and mosaic Tsc1 deletion in the developing thalamus disrupts thalamocortical circuitry, neural function, and behavior. Neuron, 78: 895–909, 2013.
Lee S-C, Patrick SL, Richardson KA, Connors BW. Two functionally distinct networks of gap junction-coupled inhibitory neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus. J Neurosci, 34:13170-13182, 2014.
Cruikshank SJ, Urabe H, Nurmikko AV, Connors BW. Pathway-specific feedforward circuits between thalamus and neocortex revealed by selective optical stimulation of axons. Neuron, 65: 230–245, 2010.