Understanding the role subplate neurons play in the mature brain.
We hypothesize that a little-studied group of brain cells called subplate neurons form an interconnected network projecting in a widespread fashion across the various functional cortical regions. We are utilizing correlated light and fluorescent microscopy, and confocal microscopy, to obtain data on subplate distribution, shape, size, dendritic patterns and spine location compared across development and aging in the rodent cortex.
Modeling neurodevelopmental time across experimental animals and humans.
Because the timing of neural events in developing brains follows a strikingly similar pattern, regression theory can be used to mathematically model and compare the timing of cross-species development, including humans. Working in collaboration with Barbara Finlay and Richard Darlington from Cornell University, we are modeling cross-species comparisons of neurodevelopmental time. Our current project involves incorporating these data into a computer program that is able to generate cross-species neural comparisons and predictions via an interactive web site: http://www.translatingtime.net/.