Behavior and Brain Organization
The research of the Department of Behavior and Brain Organization (BBO) aims to understand how mammals use vision to make decisions and the underlying principles of the neural circuits involved in this process. As many sensory based decisions involve a combination of head movements, vestibular driven eye movements, vestibular driven cortical activity and active sensing of the environment, the BBO scientists focus on studying the freely moving animal. To this end BBO uses and develops techniques to study the freely behaving animal that range from sophisticated position and pose tracking techniques to techniques for imaging activity from populations of cortical neurons with cellular resolution. To achieve this BBO has taken a multidisciplinary approach comprised of multiphoton imaging techniques, eye and head tracking techniques, computational approaches and behavioral paradigms. This has afforded the opportunity to measure the spatiotemporal organization of activity in populations of neurons during free behavior and to quantify the strategies employed by the animal in the course of performing the observed behavior.