Ph.D. Univ. of Virginia, 1985
My laboratory investigates the mechanisms underlying activity-dependent organization of the visual system. Much of our work concerns understanding how activity influences the choice of postsynaptic targets by presynaptic neurons. In the leopard frogs in which we work, retinal ganglion cell terminals map topographically onto the surface of their target, the optic tectum. The precision present in this map is derived from strengthening synapses that effectively depolarize tectal cells and eliminating synapses that do not. Using electrophysiological, immunocytochemical, anatomical and autoradiographic techniques, we investigate the mechanisms mediating and modulating synapse stabilization and elimination.