The primary goal of the research in the Disney Lab is to determine the role(s) that neuromodulators play in arousal, attention and memory – and by what circuit mechanisms they subserve those functions. Our primary focus is on the noradrenergic and cholinergic systems in the neocortex of mammals. The techniques employed in the lab are diverse: we use a novel biosensor that combines classical electrophysiological recording capabilities with the ability to measure the local chemical environment at high spatial and temporal resolution; we combine electrophysiological recording with pharmacological manipulation to examine causal relationships between neuromodulation, neuronal activity and behavioral performance; and we study the structure of neuromodulatory systems in the neocortex from a comparative perspective at both the light and electron microscopic levels.

Mission Statement:

  • This is an place where scientists come together to share and develop their knowledge, skills, and talents.
  • We achieve our individual and collective goals while we study neuromodulatory processes in the mammalian cortex – at the receptor, circuit, and systems levels.
  • We strive to deploy and develop whatever tools we need to answer good questions.
  • Where we see a need for connection, we build bridges: between people, theories, domains of knowledge, methodologies, model systems.
  • We hold our integrity and ethical standards tightly; our theories and hypotheses lightly.
  • We maintain a broad and integrated view of our place in the world at large, and the world of science.
  • We commit to acknowledge, value, pay forward, and share openly our resources.
  • In all our endeavors we work with respect for each other, for science, for society, and for the environment.
  • We devote ourselves to humane and respectful practices that dignify animal and human lives at all stages of our research