We are interested in both the physical and the functional connections that underlie brain function, so we use both anatomical and optogenetic approaches for circuit mapping. Anatomical approaches include imaging the architecture of individual neurons within a brain region of interest. This allows us to view these brain regions as collections of discernible cell types, which is a prerequisite for explaining how those cells form functional circuits.

We also use targeted photoconversion to resolve patterns of projections between different brain regions. By illuminating Kaede-expressing neurons with violet light, we can use Kaede to change from a green to a red fluorophore. If we target this photo conversion to particular cells and wait for the red Kaede to diffuse into the axons, we can identify these cells’ targets throughout the brain.

Project members

Key contacts

Professor Ethan Scott

Queensland Brain Institute