My research goal is to determine how the functional organization of visual cortical circuits allows an animal to perform appropriate behaviors based on the available information. To do so, circuits in the brain must integrate external sensory input, with internal behavioral goals. Task-specific goals, such as finding a friend in a crowd, impact brain activity patterns early in sensory processing and can actually shape how the information is organized as it is being received. I intend to determine how circuits in the visual cortex are modified on a moment-to-moment basis according to the goals of the animal. We will engage mice in a behavioral task in which they must detect changes in different features of visual stimuli such as light or dark contrast or orientation of an image. We will then use two-photon calcium imaging and intracellular electrophysiology to determine how the goals of the task influence the strength and specificity of the circuit activity. These findings will shed light on how the brain uses both incoming information and internal goals to guide behavior, a process that can become disconnected in disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.