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.


  • New review paper Our newest review paper on the stomatogastric nervous system is out: Stein, W. (2017). Stomatogastric Nervous System. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. http://neuroscience.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore ...
    Posted May 1, 2017, 12:53 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • Congratulations, Casey! Casey Gährs receives ISU Foundation award! Casey Gährs, MS student starting in the Vidal-Gadea and Stein labs in Fall 2017, was awarded a fellowship from the Illinois State University ...
    Posted Apr 28, 2017, 9:27 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • Highschool Research Symposium We had a great time as poster judges at the ISU Highschool Research Symposium. Great posters be talented students!
    Posted Apr 28, 2017, 9:24 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • March for Science at Illinois State University PI Stein gave a short speech at the local March for Science about the value of basic research and why evidence-based science matters. About 300 participated and marched from ...
    Posted Apr 26, 2017, 7:26 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • German Neuroscience Conference, Phi Sigma and ISU Research Symposium Graduate students and postdocs in the lab presented their research results at several conferences and symposia in the last three weeks. Illinois State Research SymposiumChris and Rosangela at their ...
    Posted Mar 31, 2017, 3:35 PM by Wolfgang Stein
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