Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience
Development of the mammalian central nervous system reflects one of the most complex and dynamic biological processes known. Neural cell division, differentiation, migration, myelination, and synapse formation are critically timed events that if disrupted can lead to long-term behavioral dysfunction. Our lab is interested in the anatomical and behavioral consequences of disrupted forebrain development resulting from injury or teratogenic events and how early behavioral experience or prophylactic treatment can improve outcome. Current projects include investigations into the role of inflammation in pathogenesis of neonatal hypoxia/ischemia, behavioral outcome and potential treatment strategies. A second line of work is focused on the consequences of fetal teratogenic exposure and the influence of resultant neurodevelopmental malformations on learning in rodent models. These animal models of developmental neuropathology help us understand the origin, behavioral cost and potential treatment strategies for highly complex neurodevelopmental disorders.
Opening image: Hippocampal malformations