Our lab is interested in understanding neuronal circuit functions of the insular cortex as part of a wider neuronal network mediating emotion regulation.Alterations in insula circuitry and deficiencies in emotion regulation are common traits amongst a number of psychiatric conditions, such as disorders of mood, anxiety and addiction. However, we currently lack a mechanistic understanding of insular circuits and how they influence aversive as well as appetitive behaviors. To unravel how the insular cortex is organized and achieves its functions, we combine behavioral essays with modern research tools in mice. To watch the activity of ensembles of neurons within the insular cortex while processing emotionally relevant stimuli, we employ in vivo two-photon calcium imaging. The use of transsynaptic viral tracing tools allows us to explore how a given functional microcircuit within the insular cortex is embedded in a wider network of prefrontal, sensory and limbic brain structures. Combining these techniques with optogenetics to remotely control the activity of identified nerve cells in behaving animals, we aim to dissect neuronal circuits implicated in emotion processing from structure to function.
Gogolla N, Takesian AE, Feng G, Fagiolini M, Hensch TK (2014). Sensory integration in mouse insular cortex reflects GABA circuit maturation. Neuron 83, 894-905.
Gogolla N, Caroni P, Luthi A, Herry C (2009). Perineuronal nets protect fear memories from erasure. Science 325, 1258-1261.
Gogolla N, Galimberti I, Deguchi Y, Caroni P (2009). Wnt signaling mediates experience-related regulation of synapse numbers and mossy fiber connectivities in the adult hippocampus. Neuron 62, 510-525.
Gogolla N*, Galimberti I*, Caroni P (2007). Structural plasticity of axon terminals in the adult. Curr Opin Neurobiol 17, 1-9. * equal contribution
Galimberti I*, Gogolla N*, Alberi S, Santos AF, Muller D, Caroni P (2006). Long-term rearrangements of hippocampal mossy fiber terminal connectivity in the adult regulated by experience. Neuron 50, 749-763. * equal contribution