Laboratory for Sensorimotor Integration
Research in the Pluta lab elucidates the neural mechanisms underlying sensory perception and sensory-guided behavior. We aim to discover the intricate interactions between cortical and midbrain networks during active sensation. Our model system is the rodent sense of touch because their large array of facial whiskers are purposely maneuvered to navigate the environment, capture prey, and socialize. We utilize powerful genetic tools to perform precise optical manipulations of neural activity. Using cutting-edge physiological, anatomical, optogenetic, and behavioral techniques, our research provides novel insight into the cellular and circuit mechanisms of sensory perception and behavior.
By discovering fundamental properties of the mammalian brain, our research will hopefully enable better diagnosis and treatment of complex and debilitating neurological disorders.