We use multiplexed in situ hybridization to understand what genes define particular cell types, gaining insight into functional differences that may arise from these transcriptional programs.
In many cases, synapses are tailored to suit a particular function within a neural circuit. We deploy electrophysiological approaches to interrogate the functional properties of habenular synapses.
Optical Monitoring and Manipulation of Activity during Behavior:
To determine when transcriptionally-defined cell types are engaged in particular behavioral tasks, we use fiber-based optical monitoring of neural activity, facilitated by the delivery of genetically-encoded calcium indicators.
Three-dimensional anatomical characterization:
In order to overlay connectivity information onto the transcriptional landscape of habenular neurons, we use projection labeling, in situ hybridization, and hydrogel-based tissue clearing to collect three-dimensional data sets merging cell-type identity with long range connectivity.