at the University of Florida
Here in the Wesson Lab we explore the neural processing of sensory information in the context of behavior. This line of questioning provides an ideal platform to test specific hypotheses regarding the neural basis of sensory dysfunction in neurological disorders, including dementias and addiction, wherein sensory processing is aberrant. To accomplish these major goals, we utilize a variety of methods ranging from multi-site electrophysiological recordings from defined brain structures to cutting-edge operant behavioral assays, some of which we perform in viral/genetic models with precise neural perturbations.
neuroscience of Olfactory system function and motivated behaviors
Together with our collaborators Drs. Minghong Ma and Marc Fuccillo we are fortunate to have received an NINDS R01 to investigate the role of the islands of Calleja circuitry in grooming behavior.
Amanda Dossat is awarded a competitive Research Opportunity Seed Fund Grant from UF. Congrats Mandy!
Post-doc Katherine Wright's paper showing manners whereby the nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle differ in their encoding of reinforcer seeking and taking behavior is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology.
Dan published a Viewpoint in the Journal of Neuroscience arguing for the importance for the olfactory tubercle to be conceptualized as the "tubular striatum" to more appropriately recognize its role in the basal ganglia.
Our latest paper on odor valence, including multi-site unit recordings from the OT and PCX, fiber photometry from 2 OT neuron populations, and optogenetics to show behavioral roles for the cells in question, is now out at Cell Reports. Congratulations everyone!
Undergraduate student Estelle in 't Zandt is named a 2020 Barry Goldwater Scholar. Congratulations Estelle!
Together with our collaborators Drs. Minghong Ma and Lori Knackstedt we are fortunate to have received a NIDA R01 for an project on the role of the olfactory tubercle in cocaine seeking and taking.
Natalie Johnson joins the lab as a PhD student. Welcome Natalie!
Dr. Amanda Dossat joins the lab as a Research Assistant Professor. Welcome Mandy!
Katherine Wright receives a 3yr NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH/NIDCD to study the modulation of odor learning by estradiol. Congratulations Katherine!
Together with our collaborators Drs. Mariella De Biasi and Minghong Ma we are fortunate to have received a NIDA R01 for an exciting project on the reinforcing properties of e-Cigarette flavorants.
Dr. Sang Eun Ryu joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher from Dr. Chiel Moon's lab at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology's Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Welcome Sang Eun!
Dan becomes a standing member of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (LAM) NIH study section.
Hillary Cansler receives a 3yr NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH/NIDCD to study prefrontal cortex control of olfactory selective attention. Congratulations Hillary!
Dan receives the Young Investigator Award for Research in Olfaction from AChemS.