Rossi Lab

Neurocircuit control of motivation

The goal of our research is to understand how distributed neural circuits regulate feeding and motivated behavior and how these processes are disrupted by external factors, such as diet. We are also interested in how early life nutrition influences the behavior and neurocircuit function later in life. The lab uses calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and viral based genetic tools to perturb and observe neural activity during motivated behavior.

Longitudinal deep brain 2p calcium imaging in feeding, reward, and obesity

We measure the relationship between motivated behavior and neuronal activity using deep brain two-photon calcium imaging and longitudinally assess how this relationship evolves during diet-induced obesity.

Electrophysiology in subcortical feeding circuits

We use patch-clamp electrophysiology to characterize molecularly defined cell types and probe how diet and feeding hormones alter their function.

Functional perturbations during motivated behavior

We utilize viral and pharmacological tools to perturb neuronal activity and measure the effects on motivated behavior.

Viral-mediated neuroanatomical tracing

We employ a variety of viral tools to map the functional and anatomical makeup of the hypothalamus and associated brain regions.