In the zebrafish pallium, new neurons are produced in large numbers by neuronal progenitor cells distributed along the periventricular zone. Thus the teleost pallium is subjected to extraordinary plasticity driven by adult neurogenesis. The pallium of vertebrates is involved in complex sensory processing and cognitive operations. My laboratory focuses on studying how different cognitive tasks shape the neural circuits in the zebrafish pallium, as well as on understanding the role that these new neurons exert in orchestrating these behaviors. To approach these questions, we combined transgenic reporter zebrafish lines, immunofluorescence, electrophysiology recordings and behavioral studies. The primal questions leading the focus for current and future research in my laboratory are the follow: To what extent this neuronal circuit dynamic allows reliable information processing and storage leading to adaptive behaviors? How neuronal additions modify the input/output processing of existing networks? Is the cognitive activity a drive for pallial network rearrangements? Could functional regeneration be accomplished to restore lost cognitive ability?
Our final goal is to understand the interplay between neural network rearrangement, information processing and cognitive function in the zebrafish pallium.