Welcome to the crablab at Illinois State University

The main research interests of the Stein lab focus on sensory processing and plasticity in motor networks and how sensory influences affect motor pattern selection and behavior. To study this, we use the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab Cancer borealis with its well-characterized central pattern generators as model system for the integration of sensory information and pattern selecting processes inside the nervous system. The main focus of our work is to determine how networks of neurons cope with complex and multimodal sensory input and how neuromodulatory neurons select the required patterns from multifunctional motor circuits to perform the adequate behavior. Methods used in the lab are manifold, including current and voltage clamp recordings, optical imaging, RNA and DNA extraction, and computer modeling.
The photo above shows a fluorescence staining of the stomatogastric ganglion and its 26 motor neurons. For details click here to read Goldsmith et al., 2014.


  • Nature Eco Evo paper out Our marbled crayfish genome paper is out. Congrats to our collaborators for making this such a nice story!In this study we sequenced the genome of a parthenogenetic species of ...
    Posted Feb 9, 2018, 5:34 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • Travelling from around the world to tour our lab! Science knows no borders. We hosted a lab tour for a group of Chinese students from Southwest University yesterday. We had a blast. Come again!
    Posted Jan 26, 2018, 4:32 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • Recruiting new graduate students The Stein lab is looking for new graduate students to join our lab. We are particularly interested in students with a keen interest in using neurophysiology and optical imaging to ...
    Posted Jan 18, 2018, 7:09 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • Society for Neuroscience meeting We had four posters at this year's annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, three of which were related to our current NSF-funded project. Click here to see ...
    Posted Nov 24, 2017, 2:13 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • New YouTube videos uploaded I finally had time to finish and upload the newest videos from my MotoVlog series. There are a total of six new videos: 1. What are scientific theories?2. Why ...
    Posted Nov 4, 2017, 9:40 PM by Wolfgang Stein
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