Watson Lab

Cortical circuit neuroscience

Brendon Watson M.D., Ph.D.

University of Michigan

Focus: Brain and cortical network dynamics

Basic function in normal brain and role in psychiatric disease

We use silicon probes and optogenetics to record from and manipulate dozens of neurons simultaneously in freely behaving rodents in order to answer questions aimed both at fundamental neurobiological understanding of the cortical states and dynamics as well as the role of cortex in disease treatment.

We use an approach informed by an understanding of neuronal microcircuit dynamics, macrocircuit connectivity and organism-level behavior to connect between the level of single neurons, networks of those neurons and animal behavior.

See further details in Research section.

Recent work

Biorxiv - with Kamran Diba's Lab: Neuronal firing rates diverge during REM and homogenize during non-REM

An improved and integrative re-analysis of sleep-wake firing rate dynamics in hippocampus and neocortex

Review: Gamma oscillations as a biomarker for major depression: an emerging topic

Might gamma oscillations be biomarkers for depression? What is the current state of the field in both patients and rodent models.

How field potential oscillations and neuronal firing rates are correlated time in the frontal cortex in rodent recordings.

Review article putting forward novel ideas about the role of learning rules in sculpting activity of cortical neuronal populations over wake-sleep cycles

Cortical neuronal firing rates are dynamically modulated over sleep wake cycles without novel learning tasks.