Shane R. Crandall, PhD
Assistant Professor, Physiology
Ph.D., 2012, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
East Lansing Campus
2168 Biomedical and Physical Sciences
Our lab studies the basic physiology of neural circuits in the mammalian brain. Much of our work focuses on the neocortex and the thalamus, two reciprocally connected brain areas that are responsible for normal sensation, movement, and cognition. These areas also interest us because abnormal communication between them has been implicated in several disease states, including epilepsy and schizophrenia. Currently, our goal is to understand the functional properties of neural circuits that link the thalamus and neocortex. We focus on how distinct populations of cells communicate in both their local and long-range networks. We also examine the relationship between circuit activity and behavior. Lastly, we are interested in determining how certain diseases impact these circuits. Our experiments combine in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological techniques with state-of-the-art imaging, optical, and behavioral methods. We also apply a variety of virus-mediated and transgenic tools in efforts to probe distinct circuit components such as genetically defined neurons and synapses.