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Corbett joined the Allen Institute in 2015 after finishing his doctoral studies in Shaul Hestrin’s lab at Stanford University. During his PhD work, Corbett studied the cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain to sensory cortex using in vitro whole-cell recordings and optogenetic stimulation to determine which cortical cell types get direct input from cholinergic axons and to characterize the synaptic properties of cholinergic inputs. He then moved in vivo and performed whole-cell recordings from awake mice to investigate how changes in behavioral state modulate the subthreshold activity and excitability of visual cortical neurons. At the Allen Institute, Corbett is currently studying the role that mouse LP, the secondary visual thalamic nucleus, plays in visual processing.
The lateral posterior thalamic nucleus (LP) is thought to play a critical role in transmitting information between visual cortical areas. LP also serves as the main conduit through which information from the superior colliculus reaches visual cortex. To better understand how LP neurons integrate inputs from cortical and subcortical sources and what signals they convey to cortex, I am performing dense extracellular recordings in LP with Neuropixel probes. By combining functional maps from these recordings with anatomical maps based on the input-output connectivity of LP, we can define LP subregions with distinct roles in visual processing. Ultimately, we will test this framework by recording and perturbing activity across the thalamo-cortical visual system during behavior.