pic of Cathy Leamey

Cathy Leamey

The Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology

The mammalian cortex is composed of many discrete areas which have unique functions. Each area has its own sets of inputs, outputs, internal circuitry and cytoarchitecture. These sets of connections underlie our ability to see, hear, speak, move and reason, yet we know little about the mechanisms which allow the appropriate sets of connections to form during development. For the last couple of decades, emphasis has been placed on the role of sensory experience in establishing appropriate connectivity in the brain. Whilst patterns of neural activity undoubtedly do play an important role in refining and consolidating connections, recent work has begun to suggest that molecular cues may also play an important role in determining cortical regionalisation and connectivity. The work in my lab studies the mechanisms which underlie the development of appropriate connectivity in the brain. Using the somatosensory and visual pathways of the developing mouse as a model, we investigate whether specific molecules that are differentially expressed between cortical areas play a role in regulating the pattern of cortical connectivity. For this we use a combination of anatomical, physiological and molecular techniques to examine how connectivity changes in animals who over or under express the genes of interest.


Dr. Cathy Leamey
Department of Physiology
The University of Sydney
Email: cathy@physiol.usyd.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9351 3928 Fax: +61 2 9351 2058