Explore The Brain
Systems Neuroscience on
Serious problem in drug dependence results from the compulsive use of the drugs beyond recreational use. The conversion of the drug seeking pattern into compulsive use is not well studied and control after compulsive behavior is also unknown. Our lab studies neuroscience in drug addiction with cocaine addiction model in mouse. After inducing compulsive cocaine seeking, we proceed electrophysiological observation and optogenetical behavior control. We are especially interested in inhibitory neural circuit in midbrain which can affect dopamine neuron in VTA. We study the effect of (cell-type and neural circuit specific) inhibitory neurons in addictive behaviors by introducing various types of Cre-expressing mouse lines.
Neural Network of fear
Fear learning mainly occurs in Amygdala. The changes in the neural signal transmission in amygdala delivers to brainstem and hypothalamus then triggers freezing behavior and heartbeat increase. Recent researches have provided answers on the neural signal in amygdala after fear conditioning and which neurotransmitter contributes to fear learning. Our task at this stage is discovering fear neural network in amygdala at the neural level. Our lab focuses on reproducing fear engram by optogenetics. By this project, we expect to understand fear neural network in amygdala in detail
Signal transmission in psychiatric disorder
Along with development of genomics, proteomics and epigenetics, psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, PTSD, and autism are being actively studied. However, study on the gene functions are yet focused on phenomenal area. We are trying to propose the principles and treatment of psychiatric disorder by establishing cytolytic, physiological changes in network with comprehensive approach. One of our goal is to understand stress expressing mechanism and mutual connection between amygdala and hippocampus in neural network level.