Dr Riccardo Beltramo

University Position
Assistant Professor


We aim to understand how the brain transforms sensory signals into the neural representations of the outside world that guide our behaviour. Our lab uses the mouse visual system as a model and studies the contribution of parallel visual pathways to behaviours that promote survival, so-called ?adaptive behaviours?. We are particularly interested in innate and learned defensive responses, such as escaping upon detecting predators, and vision-based navigation. We focus on the neural circuits that allow us to navigate an ever-changing environment, creating internal ?spatial maps? of the world. Adaptive behaviours are protective responses susceptible to dysregulation and can become maladaptive, leading to mental illnesses. Our lab studies the pathogenesis of stress-induced anxiety in the early stage of sensory processing. We aim to understand how pathological changes in early neural representations of ?dangerous? and ?safe? sensory stimuli influence the occurrence of anxiety disorders.

Key Publications