The Bloss Lab

Currently, I am working to integrate this technology with functional perturbations of specific neurons to understand how cortical circuit computations support flexible behaviors.

My overarching goal is to discover fundamental principles governing how the functions of neural circuits emerge from their structural organization. During my Ph.D. work with Dr. John Morrison I examined how aging affects the size, number, and plasticity of synaptic connections on cortical neurons. During my postdoc with Dr. Nelson Spruston, I used array tomography as a rigorous, versatile, multiscale, and quantitative technique to interrogate how cell types are connected within neural circuits. My work has demonstrated that genetically or anatomically defined neurons in the hippocampus form remarkably structured synaptic connections onto the dendrites of their postsynaptic targets. Using computational models of neurons, we demonstrated that the observed forms of connectivity enabled neurons to perform specific operations on their inputs that random patterns of connectivity could not. Currently, I am working to integrate this technology with functional perturbations of specific neurons to understand how cortical circuit computations support flexible behaviors. Work at The Jackson Laboratory will enable us to leverage our neuroanatomical strengths with powerful mouse genetic tools to identify the broader principles by which cognitive functions emerge from the underlying cortical circuitry.