Edward M. Callaway is a professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratories at The Salk Institute. His lab studies the organization and function of neural circuits in the visual cortex to better understand how specific neural components contribute to the computations that give rise to visual perception and to elucidate the basic neural mechanisms that underlie cortical function. They employ anatomical and physiological methods both in vivo and in vitro to reveal neuronal circuitry and to identify the emergent functional properties of the component neurons. Present studies focus on: the relationships between local circuits in primary visual cortex and early parallel visual pathways; connectivity and functional influence of distinct types of inhibitory cortical neurons. The lab is also actively developing and utilizing molecular and genetic methods to facilitate the elucidation and manipulation of neural circuits. These methods include: development of promoters that drive gene expression specifically in cell types of interest; genetic methods for selective and reversible neuronal inactivation; selective trans-synaptic viral labeling of neural circuits; viral delivery of genetic material to allow manipulation of circuits in species where typical transgenic technologies are impractical.
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