Maurice J. Chacron
Department of Physiology
Department of Biomedical Engineering
My long term research goal is to understand the basic mechanisms by which neurons process sensory information. While critical for diagnostic and treatment of sensory deficiencies, these mechanisms are poorly understood to this day. Since sensory processing strategies are shared amongst sensory systems, significant progress towards this goal can be achieved by studying the somewhat simpler sensory systems of lower vertebrates. These animals respond to simple natural stimuli with obvious behavioral relevance and share common brain architecture with higher vertebrates including humans. We use a combination of behavior, in vivo electrophysiology, and modeling to link cellular processes to sensory processing at the systems level as well as behavior in weakly electric fish. Research projects are on diverse topics such as: learning and memory, population coding of sensory input, feedback, and neuromodulators.