Adrenergic Contributions to Hypnosis

Adrenergic signaling can both induce a hypnotic state (through the alpha-2a receptor) or alternatively can speed emergence (as seen with locus coeruleus stimulation.) We are interested in the circuits involved in both of these processes and using a combination of genetic and opto/chemogenetic tools to map the relevant circuits.

Neural Circuits Contributing to Individual Variation in Anesthetic Response

By studying behavioral dynamics at unchanging pharmacologic concentrations, our lab has developed a sensitive toolset for distinguishing individuals' hypnotic sensitivity and a novel measure related to behavioral dynamics, their state stability. We are investigating the effect of specific neural populations on these precise measures, hypothesizing that activity of neural populations affecting these measures are a significant contributor to interindividual differences seen in anesthetic response.

Brain States Under Anesthesia

Similar to shifts between discrete activity patterns during sleep, the brain spontaneous shifts among discrete neurophysiologic patterns of activity during general anesthesia even in the absence of stimulus and steady drug concentration. These states have functional significance, as emergence from anesthesia only occurs from a subset. We are investigating additional functional significance of these states by testing state-related stimulus responses. We are additionally interested in neural mechanisms of state stability and change, and are using chemogenetic methods to explore circuit specific contributions to global EEG-based state change.