What type of neuroscience research do you do and what got you interested in this research?
I study cognitive processes of the brain and neuropsychiatric diseases with cognitive deficits focusing on prefrontal cortex and dopamine system in rodents. I use electrorheological recording with multi-channel electrodes, micro-endoscope and fiber-photometry to measure neural activity while animals perform behavioral tasks involving cognitive function. I also use pharmacological and optogenetic manipulation to gain further insight in transgenic animals. I got interested in this research because I wanted to understand circuit mechanisms of these functions.
What challenges did you encounter along the way, and how did you overcome these challenges?
The research questions that we want to address are often limited by technical challenges. I sometimes develop techniques further from the existing one or learn new techniques from other collaborators. I also break down complex experimental designs into multiple simpler experiments.
What new technique do you think will have the greatest impact on Neuroscience research and how do you plan to apply this to your research ?
The most actively developing and exciting techniques are large scale neuronal activity measurement techniques, including dense high-channel count electrode and florescent protein sensors. The large-scale imaging with calcium sensor protein in transgenic animals allows us to measure brain activity as we could not do before. We are already adopting some of these new techniques and are constantly testing adoptable new techniques when they become available.
Lab Website: https://narayanan.lab.uiowa.edu/