Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cognitive Flexibility in Autism Spectrum Disorder Models
Cortical network activity is generated by complex interactions between excitatory pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons. A highly influential hypothesis of autism predicts that overexcitation in specific cortical circuits might disrupt information processing and lead to abnormal patterns of activity and seizures in a subset of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Defective maturation of inhibitory circuits has been proposed as an underlying cause for epilepsy- autism comorbidity. This project will explore the contribution of interneurons to the function of cortical circuitry in mouse models of ASD, with a focus in cognitive flexibility, a process severely affected in ASD patients.