Research Expertise and Interest

neurobiology, learning, neurophysiology, sensory biology

Research Description

Dan Feldman is the Coates Family Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and a Professor of Neurobiology.  How do neural circuits in the brain’s cerebral cortex mediate sensation, learning, and higher functions, and how does this break down in neurological disease? His lab seeks to answer these questions by studying the function of cerebral cortex at synaptic, circuit, and neural coding levels. They study how cortical circuits process sensory information, adapt to experience, and store information during learning. They investigate the cellular and circuit mechanisms for brain plasticity, and the homeostatic mechanisms that maintain proper cortical function across age and experience. They study the principles of information processing and neural coding, and how cognitive and sensory information interact in the cortex.  They also study the neural circuit mechanisms that drive altered sensory processing in severe forms of autism. 

In the News

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
January 24, 2019
A study using four mouse models is challenging a long-held hypothesis about the brain's activity in autism. The idea has been that neurons in the brain receive too little inhibition or too much excitation in cases of autism, but the new study indicates that the imbalance could be a response mechanism that helps stabilize a brain affected by the disorder. "Many groups are searching for ways to increase inhibition in the brain, either through drugs or through gene therapy, on the assumption that increasing inhibition will restore the brain back to normal," says molecular and cell biology professor Daniel Feldman, a member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the study's lead author. "But actually, our results suggest that loss of inhibition might represent a useful compensation that the brain is doing, or might be unrelated to disease symptoms. And if you go in there and increase inhibition, you might make things worse or you might not affect things at all." This story originated at Berkeley News. It has been reprinted in more than a dozen sources.
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