Martha Bickford, Ph.D.


Department of Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology

Phone: 502-852-3527 E-mail

Research Focus

The Bickford lab studies synaptic circuits involved in transmitting visual signals and initiating appropriate motor responses to visual stimuli. We are particularly interested in pathways that involve the superior colliculus, pretectum, and visual thalamus. Techniques used in our lab include anatomical tract tracing using traditional tracers and viral vectors, electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry, optogenetics, chemogenetics, whole cell recording from neurons in an in vitro slice preparation, in vivo extracellular recording, and behavioral analyses. The goal of these studies is to elucidate the normal mechanisms underlying visual signal transmission, as a first step toward understanding disorders that involve central visual pathways. 

Current Projects

Midbrain circuits for perceptual decision-making 1UF1NS122040

Parallel Pulvinar Pathways 5R01EY031322

The Influence of the Pretectum on the Visual Thalamus 1R01EY035523