The goal of this laboratory is to reveal the neural basis of perception. More specifically, We want to understand exactly how cortical microcircuits process sensory information to drive behavior. To assess how populations of neurons concur to encode information, generate perceptions, and execute behavioral decisions, requires working at both the cellular and system level. Towards this goal, by turning neurons 'ON' and 'OFF' using optogenetic and pharmacogenetic approaches, we can monitor and then manipulate specific subsets of neurons in awake behaving mice. This approach will allow us to quantitatively determine how specific subsets of neurons contribute to sensory processing and behavior. By complementing our in vivo work with synaptic connectivity and network dynamics analysis in vitro, we are going to achieve a more complete understanding for how neural circuits in our brain support sensation, action, and cognition.