Mark Andermann

Mark Andermann

Professor in Medicine
Mark Andermann

The goal of my lab is to understand the role of corticolimbic areas in guiding attention to, and imagery, learning and memory of, motivationally-salient external and interoceptive stimuli. To understand these neural phenomena at the level of local microcircuitry, we developed a paradigm for chronic two-photon calcium imaging of visual responses in identified neurons and axonal boutons in thalamus, cortex and amygdala of mice performing visual discrimination tasks or running on a trackball.

In collaboration with Dr. Brad Lowell at BIDMC, we are pursuing imaging and behavioral studies of attention to motivationally salient sensory stimuli (e.g. food vs. non-food stimuli) using natural manipulations of motivational states (e.g. hunger and satiety; Burgess, Ramesh et al., Neuron 2016; Ramesh, Burgess et al., Neuron 2018), together with optetrode and photometry recordings and photostimulation of specific hypothalamic neurons that drive ingestive behaviors (e.g. Garfield et al., Nature Neurosci. 2016; Mandelblat-Cerf et al., eLife, 2015; Mandelblat-Cerf et al., Neuron, 2017). Our goal is to implicitly toggle amongst motivational drives states (via rapid activation of genetically-defined hypothalamic cell types that drive different hunger, thirst, salt-appetite), and assess biases in neural processing of motivationally-relevant cues. We then use these genetic entry points to track the pathways to cortex that ultimately assign value to neural representations of motivationally-relevant cues (e.g. Livneh et al., Nature, 2017). In related work, we are examining offline cortical reactivation of motivationally salient cue representations during quiet waking and its impact on circuit connectivity (Sugden et al., in revision).

In collaboration with Dr. Chinfei Chen at Boston Children's Hospital, we recently elucidated new rules governing convergence of visual information streams from retina to thalamus (Liang et al., Cell, 2018).

In future, we hope to build on this work understand how primary sensory and interoceptive inputs are selectively modulated by motivational state.

Contact Information

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Center for Life Sciences, Room 701
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115
p: 617-735-3235