Vicky Puig’s current work focuses on understanding the role of dopamine receptors in the prefrontal cortex during learning and memory. She has developed a new methodology in which neurons and local fields of the macaque prefrontal cortex are recorded from multiple electrodes in parallel to locally injecting dopamine receptor antagonists during a learning and memory task. This approach enables investigation of how different dopamine receptors modulate the activity of large neuronal populations and brain waves during higher-order executive tasks, as well as the altered prefrontal cortex and dopamine systems observed in many psychiatric disorders.
This research will significantly contribute to CELEST’s goal of identifying the underpinnings of learning, as well as understanding the origins and treatment of mental illnesses. Thanks to our CELEST collaborations, we are better able to tackle the challenge of understanding the complex microcircuitry of the cortex, and how it is modulated by dopamine and pharmaceutical agents that target dopamine receptors.
Last updated on May 18, 2011