David Taylor

Identification of Cortical and Subcortical Structures Receiving Projections from Corticostriatal Barrel Cortex Neurons

The barrel cortex, a structure found in the brains of mice, plays an important role in processing sensory input from whiskers. Mice rely heavily on their whiskers to perceive the environment, and this makes the barrel cortex an attractive model for studying sensory processing. At this time, many connections between the barrel cortex and other brain regions are only superficially known. Using a double viral injection technique, I will specifically label the subset of barrel cortex neurons that project axons to the striatum, a structure associated with several functions including motor control. This will allow me to quantify and characterize these neurons and record any brain regions that their axons target. This is an early step in the ultimate goal of understanding how barrel cortex neurons cooperate with other regions of the brain to process and present sensory information in a way that is useful to the animal.

Message to Sponsor

I am very grateful to SURF/Rose Hills for making it possible for me to devote this summer to my research. The research experience I will gain over the summer and during the following year will be one of the most important things I do at Berkeley to help shape my future as a neuroscientist. This fellowship will allow me to accomplish more in the lab and give me the time I need to produce a more complete and rewarding senior thesis.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Hillel Adesnik, Molecular and Cell Biology