The Gozzi lab focuses on the study of the functional organization of the mammalian brain at the macroscale. We are interested in understanding how large-scale spontaneous brain activity (i.e. the “functional connectome”) originates, develops and biases behavioural states. A major goal of our research is to unravel the elusive neurophysiological basis of macroscale functional connectivity as measured with neuroimaging methods such as fMRI, and the underpinnings of its aberrations observed in brain connectopathies such as autism spectrum disorders.
To achieve these goals, as part of the ERC-funded project #Disconn, we have developed methods to map and perturb the functional connectome in the mouse, with the aim to establish causal relationship between brain-wide fMRI activity and its genetic, neurophysiological and pathological determinants. Our work is revealing a set of fundamental rules linking regional patterns of brain activity to brain-wide functional connectivity, and the significance of their disruption in autism and related developmental disorders.