Scientists in the Department of Neuroscience participate in a wide array of research activities with a focus on understanding both the normal and injured nervous system. The theme of neuroplasticity characterizes much of the research in the Department. We study neuroplasticity during normal development and in the adult in response to activity (e.g., learning) or drugs. Our research is also focused on studying the plasticity that ensues after traumatic (such as spinal cord injury) or ischemic damage to the nervous system and over the course of developmental or neurodegenerative diseases (such as Specific Language Impairment, autism, or Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases). The specific research interests of each of the principal investigators falls under four broad subheadings:
Development, Regeneration and recovery of function after injury
Neuroimmunology and Drugs of Abuse
Under this common theme, a variety of diverse techniques and models are employed by the faculty. They range from molecular studies of gene function to studies on humans using Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) and functional MRI. Experimental models include cell culture systems, rodent genetic and experimental models of nervous system injury and disorders, as well as the use of computer simulations to understand higher cortical processing.