Research interest

My research focuses on the brain wiring during development. All sensory and cognitive abilities that mammalian species have rely on complex interactions within local and large-scale neuronal circuits. This dynamic communication within the brain evolves with age, yet its mechanisms and function along development are poorly understood. Together with a highly enthusiastic team of scientists with multi-disciplinary background, I investigate the processes of cognitive and (multi)sensory develop­ment in health and psychiatric disease. For this, we developed novel experimental and theoretical approaches that combine electro­physiology, optogenetics, imaging, behavioral assess­ment, trancriptomics and computational modelling. Currently, they enable us to (i) monitor the formation and age-dependent refinement of behaviorally relevant neuronal ensembles in limbic and sensory cortices, (ii) identify the role of early activity patterns for adult circuit function, (iii) elucidate the miswiring of early circuits and its consequences for cognitive processing in mouse models of schizophrenia and autism, (iv) characterize the immune impact on the maturation of neuronal circuits.