Dr. Roberto Vincis is currently accepting new graduate students.
Dr. Roberto Vincis
Professor in Biology and Neuroscience
- Biological Science
- BRF 211
- The research in the lab aims to investigate the basis of our ability to decide and plan our eating behaviors and dietary choices. The motivation to eat depends greatly on the taste of food and the reward experienced while eating. How are we able to extract taste information from what we eat? How do we use taste information to decide what to eat? Specifically, how does the brain allow this to happen? What are the specific regions and connections of the brain that are fundamental to this process? By understanding these points, we will gather critical knowledge on how the brain controls food consumption and feeding behaviors, both of which are relevant for understanding eating disorders. Our lab addresses these points by studying the neural circuits and computations of brain regions involved in taste and reward processing, such as the gustatory portion of the Insular Cortex and other subcortical areas.
- Current Research
- Current projects in the lab involve the following: understanding how cortical (gustatory cortex; GC) and thalamic (gustatory thalamus and limbic thalami) areas encode sensory information when animals are actively experiencing taste stimuli; investigating how a higher order limbic thalamic nucleus, the mediodorsal thalamus (MD), affects the neural properties of GC and shapes taste-related behaviors; unveiling the role of GC and its cortical and subcortical connections in perceptual and preferential taste-oriented decision making. To achieve these goals, we rely on novel and sophisticated experimental techniques, including behavioral training, anatomical and genetic targeting of specific neural populations, optical and electrophysiological recordings of neural activity in alert animals, and opto- and chemogenetic manipulation of brain activity.
- Recent Publications
Gschwend O, Beroud J, Vincis R, Rodriguez I, Carleton A., Dense encoding of natural odorants by ensembles of sparsely activated neurons in the olfactory bulb., Sci Rep, 2016 PubMed Vincis R, Fontanini A, Associative learning changes cross-modal representations in the gustatory cortex., Elife, 2016 PubMed Vincis R, Fontanini A, A gustocentric perspective to understanding primary sensory cortices, Curr Opin Neurobiol, 2016 PubMed Vincis R, Lagier S, Van De Ville D, Rodriguez I, Carleton A., Sensory-Evoked Intrinsic Imaging Signals in the Olfactory Bulb Are Independent of Neurovascular Coupling., Cell Rep, 2015 PubMed Abraham NM, Vincis R, Lagier S, Rodriguez I, Carleton A., Long term functional plasticity of sensory inputs mediated by olfactory learning., Elife, 2014 PubMed Vincis R, Gschwend O, Bhaukaurally K, Beroud J, Carleton A., Dense representation of natural odorants in the mouse olfactory bulb., Nat Neurosci, 2012 PubMed