The cerebal cortex consist of two main classes of neurons, excitatory pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons. The balance between excitation and inhibition is crucial for cortical function, and so multiple mechanisms are in place that mantains this dynamic equilibrium. In some circumstances, the balance between excitation and inhibition in the cortex is disrupted, causing neurological and psychiatric disorders. For example, severe alterations of the excitatory-inhibitory balance cause epilepsy, and more subtle perturbations may cause autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.
Our laboratory investigates the normal and pathological development of cortical circuits using the mouse as an animal models. We are taking a multidisciplinary approach that combines mouse genetics, cutting-edge imaging techniques, and cellular, molecular and electrophysiological methodologies, both in vitro and in vivo. Our research is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council.