du Lac Lab

Sunset over the Salk Institute courtyard Our research is focused on the neuronal mechanisms of learning. We study learning in a well-defined behavior, the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), which enables clear vision during head movements. Learning in the VOR occurs whenever vision is compromised persistently during head movements. The neural circuitry for the VOR is well understood, enabling us to link specific cellular and molecular mechanisms with their consequences for learning. Our lab studies how changes in intrinsic neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission operate within the circuit for the VOR to transform experience into adaptive changes in behavior.