ITO LiMBiC LAB
Our lab is based at the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto at the Scarborough campus. We use a multidisciplinary approach to identifying the network of brain structures that work together to ensure the efficient encoding and recall of affective information, and to establish the neural and neurochemical basis of the way in which such information can come to exert powerful control over motivated behaviour and decision making.
UNCOVERING FUNCTON OF COTICO-LIMBIC-STRIATAL CIRCUITS
We combine the use of pharmacological, optogenetic, chemogenetic or calcium imaging approaches with novel behavioural paradigms to conduct fine-grained functional mapping, and the delineation of functional circuits between brain areas comprising cortico-limbic-striatal loops.
We have been developing synergistic behavioural paradigms in human subjects to increase the translational value of our research, in collaboration with Dr Andy Lee's lab. We hope to establish further collaborations with researchers in the Clinical Psychology Department based at UTSC, to add clinical relevance to our models.
MODELS OF MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS
A natural, and important extension of our research is in establishing how the processing of affective and motivational processes are altered in alcohol abuse, drug addiction, schizophrenia, and anxiety using animal models.