Integral to our ability to dissect neural circuits at the cellular and molecular level is the generation of new tools. Previous work in the lab developed a new genetic system for cell-type specifically controlling gene expression patterns. This system, the InSite system allowed us to express proteins that manipulate neural activity in specific visual neurons, enabling us to do a forward genetic screen to identify neural components important for motion processing. These screens identified a number of new cellular components involved in motion processing, opening them for functional and physiological characterization.
At present, we are working on three different types of tools, including high-speed voltage imaging using genetically encoded indicators, new tools for cell-type specifically disrupting genes, and tools for mapping electrical synaptic connections.
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