Richardson Lab


    The nervous system is complex and we still understand relatively little about the cause of or how to treat many neuropsychiatric disorders, like Autism, addiction, or schizophrenia. The two goals of our lab are to

    1) develop a more complete understanding of certain neurocircuits and

    2) use that information to inform we view and assess environmental and genetic contributions to neuropsychiatric disease.

    We use inbred and transgenic rodent models to understand how neuronal function at a cellular level may specifically determine discrete aspects of innate and learned behaviors related to sensory attention, arousal, and cognitive functions.


    Ben Richardson, PhD Primary Investigator

    Assistant Professor

    Research Focus

    Anatomy & Function of Sensorimotor Circuits

    Our lab is interested in understanding the detailed workings of sensorimotor processing circuits, especially those that involve the cerebellum functioning outside of the motor system. A growing body of evidence suggests that the cerebellum may be involved in non-motor functions through its interactions with brain areas involved in reward, attention and emotion. We are currently using a combination of electrophysiology, histochemistry, viral tract tracing, transgenic mice, and optogenetics to develop detailed knowledge of some of these poorly neural pathways.


    Novel Roles for Cerebellum in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    The expanding view of brain areas and functions that involve the cerebellum establish a rich network of interactions by which cerebellar dysfunction may impact a broad array of neural functions, processes and behaviors. We are working to identify the mechanisms by which changes or effects in the cerebellum may contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), alcoholism, and deficits in auditory processing. This work involves the use of whole animal and brain slice electrophysiology, histochemistry, optogenetics and assessment of behaviors in a number of wildtype and transgenic mouse lines.


    Ben Richardson

    $1.86M grant helps SIU scientist broaden brain research into autism

    Ben Richardson, Ph.D. , has spent his career studying functions and circuits in the brain and what causes them to behave abnormally, especially within an area called the cerebellum. His work has

    Other Lab Collaborators

    • David Rossi – Washington State University
    • Sam Wang – Princeton University

    Grant Funding

    Title: Cerebellar granule cell dysfunction in Shank3 mutant mice
    NIH-NIMH, R01 MH129749

    Title: Network modulators of auditory thalamocortical feedback inhibition
    NIH – NIDCD, R21 DC018365

    Richardson lab