Department of Neurosciences
Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine
Neurophysiology of olfactory perception and olfactory behaviors
Dr. Wesson’s research interests lie at the interface of neuroscience and animal behavior. Experiments conducted in his laboratory combine in vivo electrophysiological recordings with precise cutting-edge behavioral methods to study central systems relevant to olfactory function. Ongoing studies include the contributions of the olfactory tubercle, a striatal structure with cortical-like organization, to olfaction and multi-sensory integration. We are also keenly working towards understanding the nature and utility of a previously undiscovered form of animal communication in rats which we recently uncovered – sniffing – to rat social behavior. Further, all of these major projects allow exciting opportunities to explore neural dysfunction in particular models of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Together, these main projects bridge exciting ties between the sensory and cognitive neurosciences.
The techniques commonly used in these major questions include: 1) recordings of single neuron and local field potential activity from identified structures in animals performing odor-guided tasks, 2) neurochemical and genetic manipulations to alter function of identified neurons in the context of behavior, 3) wireless recordings of intra-nasal sniffing behavior from rats during social behaviors, and 4) neuroanatomical studies to explore novel pathways for the transmission of olfactory information throughout the brain.
Together these two unique lines of research compliment an understanding of information processing in the brain in a translational manner.
PLEASE VISIT THE LAB WEBPAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION [www.WessonLab.org].