The laboratory uses an array of unique tools including the recent development of a complete mature hippocampal preparation maintained alive in vitro. (More about our hippocampal preparations) The isolated hippocampus preparation offers several key advantages over brain slices because it preserves all neuronal connectivity. Because of normal cellular interactions, the isolated hippocampus has the capacity to self-generate theta rhythm in addition to faster frequency gamma oscillations without the aid of pharmacology. This preparation offers an exceptional opportunity to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying brain rhythm generation with single-cell patch and field recordings in combination with pharmacology. In addition, we also use a recently developed technique named optogenetics which is a powerful method using light activation to finely control the activity of specific neuronal populations within a network.