We are interested in understanding how collective activities in a neural circuit give rise to complex behaviors. To address this question, we strive to precisely describe the behavior of interest, to identify the neural computations that drive such behavior, and to elucidate the underlying biophysical mechanisms by which neurons and synapses implement such computations.
At current stage, we focus on using C. elegans as a model system to study the neural basis of sensorimotor behaviors. This millimeter long, optically translucent roundworm has only 302 neurons, for which the entire wiring diagram or connectome has been mapped out at synaptic resolution. Its genetic tractability also allows physiological access to virtually every neuron using optical methods. These advantages hold the promise of a deep understanding of sensorimotor transformation at both algorithmic and mechanistic levels.