Kevin L. Briggman, Ph.D.

Title
Tenure Track Investigator
Department
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Institution
National Institutes of Health
Address
Building 37, Room 1016
37 Convent Drive
City, State, Zip
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone
(301) 402-7155
E-mail
briggmankl[at]mail.nih.gov
Website
http://neuroscience.nih.gov/Lab.asp?Org_ID=574
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2014

Research

Our lab is interested in understanding the neural circuits underlying animal behavior, including sensory discrimination , behavioral choice, and changes in movement patterns. These circuits are widely distributed throughout the brains of animals. Rather than studying brain regions in isolation, we develop and employ methods to perform whole-brain cellular resolution imaging. Our aim is to functionally record   from each and every neuron within the brain of an animal and then anatomically reconstruct which neurons are connected. We use the zebrafish as a model organism for studying animal behavior, and in particular, we are investigating the circuits that allow a newly born zebrafish to locate, track and capture its prey. For a young fish to catch, for example, a swimming paramecium, neurons in its retina must relay signals to brain regions that interpret this information as “prey” and, ultimately, trigger the motor program that will drive the fish toward its meal. My laboratory will monitor the activity of cells across the whole brain of young zebrafish as they track a “prey-like stimulus” in a virtual reality chamber. The brains of these same fish will then be anatomically reconstructed at super high resolution with 3D electron microscopy. The resulting whole-brain activity and connectivity maps will provide a template for studying behavior at the cellular level and could pave the way toward the treatment of disorders in which sensory processing, such as vision, goes awry.