Beeler Lab

Behavioral and physiological investigations of dopamine

 Mouse genetics

We  use mouse genetic models, including knockouts, knockdowns and tissue specific deletions. We use mouse genetic tools (cre- and flp recombinase) in combination with viral tools to target particular populations of neurons in optogenetics, fiber photometry and selective genetic labeling or deletions.

Understanding behavior

We use a range of behavioral methods from simple paradigms, such as open field and accelerating rotarod, to more sophisticated testing, including homecage operant paradigms. A focus in the lab is ingestive behavior, including studies of obesity and anorexia nervosa.  We have collaborated with theoretical/computational neuroscientists to model more complex datasets, for example those generated by homecage paradigms.

 Neural mechanisms

The lab uses fiber photometry to study neuronal activity and neurotransmitter release in awake-behaving animals. We use patch-clamp electrophysiology to study synaptic plasticity in the striatum. We use whole animal, anesthetized fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) to assess dopamine system function by measuring evoked dopamine releasee.