Our research program aims at understanding how the brain controls locomotor activity, and how aging or neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, alter this function and in general brain functioning. We try to identify neuronal networks controlling locomotor activity and circadian mechanisms that modulate them in health and disease. Our approach combines genetics methods, brain imaging and behavioral assays.
Our research is focused on encoding learning and memory in the basal ganglia, a set of subcortical nuclei implicated in the adaptive control of behavior. Reciprocally connected with the cerebral cortex and the limbic system, the basal ganglia participate to the detection of environmental cues and to the selection of appropriate actions based on motivation and expectancy of reward.