Project Description :
The Wang lab studies the neural basis of sensory perception and behavior, particularly in relation to the sense of touch. In a current project, we seek to elucidate how tactile information from the face is encoded at the initial processing stage in the central nervous system. The relevant neurons are located in functionally distinct nuclei within the brainstem and relay facial sensory information to upper brain regions. We use state-of-the-art electrophysiology and optogenetic tools to record and manipulate those sensory circuits in behaving mice. We have also developed new genetic and viral tools to reveal the underlying circuit neuroanatomy. In this project, the student will learn a wide array of neuroscience skills, from training animals on behavioral tasks and participating in recording sessions, to applying histological techniques and confocal microscopy to visualize brain circuits.