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Sam Gale, Ph.D.

Scientist III


Sam Gale’s Ph.D. research, in David Perkel’s lab at the University of Washington, focused on basal ganglia circuits required for vocal learning in songbirds. He moved to Janelia Research Campus for post-doctoral research with Gabe Murphy. At Janelia, he first worked to quantitatively describe cell types in the mouse superficial superior colliculus (SC), their visual response properties, and their anatomical connections. He then focused on the mechanisms of visual response selectivity in one particularly interesting SC cell type that projects to visual thalamic area LP. LP is now the current target of his research at the Allen Institute.

Research Focus:

The first aim of my research at the Allen Institute is to discover the anatomical connectivity, subdivisions, and function of mouse visual thalamic area LP. Extensive projections between LP and visual cortex allow cortical areas to communicate, but the function of these cortico-thalamic loops are unknown. LP also provides an alternative route through which visual information from the retina (via the superior colliculus) can influence cortical circuits. The second aim of my research is record activity in multiple cortical and subcortical structures simultaneously with Neuropixel probes while mice engage in behavioral tasks.

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