Tomomi Karigo PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Telephone Number: 443-923-2691

Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 North Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: KKI 400L
Areas of Research
Systems, Cognitive + Computational Neuroscience
Neural Circuits, Ensembles + Connectomes
Developmental Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease

Graduate Program Affiliations

Neuroscience Training Program

Neural circuit mechanisms underlying the development of social behaviors

Adolescence is a period of physical and psychological development during which a person develops from a child into an adult. Following the onset of puberty, increased hormonal levels stimulate the growth and transformation of a person’s physical appearance, development of the reproductive system, and rewiring of the brain. Early life and puberty are vulnerable periods for stress. Stressful environments during puberty can profoundly affect the developing brain, leading to life-long disturbances in mental health. Various psychiatric disorders involving social behavior deficits, such as social phobia, aggression, and anxiety, emerge during adolescence. However, little is known about how neural circuits that control social behaviors develop. 

The Karigo lab seeks to understand how the social behavior circuit develops during puberty and the impact of stressful environments on the developing brain. To tackle these questions, we employ cutting-edge techniques in systems neuroscience, including in vivo neural activity recording from freely behaving animals, optogenetics, and automated animal behavior tracking using rodent models. We aim to improve basic knowledge in the developing social behavior neural circuit and advance therapeutics to prevent and treat psychiatric disorders involving social behavior deficits.

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