Staff Profiles

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 Interests

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.


  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuroanatomy

Research Programs

  • Neural coding

Selected Publications

Survey of spiking in the mouse visual system reveals functional hierarchy

January 20, 2021

Siegle JH, Jia X, Durand S, Gale S, Bennett C, Graddis N, Heller G, Ramirez TK, Choi H, Luviano JA, Groblewski PA, Ahmed R, Arkhipov A, Bernard A, Billeh YN, Brown D, Buice MA, Cain N, Caldejon S, Casal L, Cho A, Chvilicek M, Cox TC, Dai K, Denman DJ, de Vries S., Dietzman R, Esposito L, Farrell C, Feng D, Galbraith J, Garrett M, Gelfand EC, Hancock N, Harris JA, Howard R, Hu B, Hytnen R, Iyer R, Jessett E, Johnson K, Kato I, Kiggins J, Lambert S, Lecoq J, Ledochowitsch P, Lee JH, Leon A, Li Y, Liang E, Long F, Mace K, Melchior J, Millman D, Mollenkopf T, Nayan C, Ng L, Ngo D, Nguyen T, Nicovich PR, North K, Ocker GK, Ollerenshaw D, Oliver M, Pachitariu M, Perkins J, Reding M, Reid D, Robertson M, Ronellenfitch K, Seid S, Slaughterbeck C, Stoecklin M, Sullivan D, Sutton B, Swapp J, Thompson C, Turner K, Wakeman W, Whitesell JD, Williams D, Williford A, Young R, Zeng H, Naylor S, Phillips JW, Reid RC, Mihalas S, Olsen SR, Koch C

High-density extracellular probes reveal dendritic backpropagation and facilitate neuron classification

Journal of Neurophysiology
March 6, 2019

Jia X, Siegle JH, Bennett C, Gale SD, Denman DJ, Koch C, Olsen SR

Higher-order thalamic circuits channel parallel streams of visual information in mice

February 27, 2019

Bennett C, Gale SD, Garrett ME, Newton ML, Callaway EM, Murphy GJ, Olsen SR