We are interested in how the brain processes and integrates information at the cortical level over multiple areas to produce behavioral responses and how these processes are altered in pathological conditions. To this end, we perform mesoscale functional imaging in awake mice expressing a fluorescent calcium indicator (GCaMP6f) in cortical excitatory neurons while animals are performing a behavioral task.
Cortical activity patterns during the generation of a motor output.
We use widefield calcium imaging to investigate how different cortical areas interact with each other while mice perform skilled goal-directed motor tasks. We then study how activity across different areas of the cortex emerges during the motor output and how functional connectivity among these areas is modulated by the motor output.
Cortical plasticity and reorganization in head-fixed mice after injury.
We use widefield calcium imaging to investigate cortical processing remaps in healthy mice and after a focal stroke. Daily recordings allow characterizing in the acute and in chronic phase how functional connectivity is altered after stroke and how different rehabilitative strategies act to promote cortical plasticity and functional remapping.
Developing of miniaturized device to capture cortical activity in awake freely moving mice.
We are developing small miniaturized wide-field imaging devices that allow us to break free from the head-fixed condition and allow us to study cortical activation and functional connectivity in more naturalistic behavioral settings.
Francesco Pavone, Group Leader
Letizia Allegra Mascaro