Lagnado Lab

Welcome to the Lagnado Lab

We are investigating two neural circuits that are involved in the processing of visual information - the retina and the visual cortex. The question that guides our research is "how do synapses in the visual system contribute to the processing and transfer the information in a visual stimulus?". More recently, we have also been investigating how mechanical information is encoded in the lateral line system of zebrafish.

We have another website which is a bit slicker and has more info here!

All our projects have a focus on the synaptic machinery that transfers signals within circuits.  We use fluorescent reporter proteins by which the electrical activation of synapses and the resulting output - vesicle fusion – can be monitored across hundreds of neurons simultaneously.  By applying multiphoton microcopy to transgenic zebrafish and mice expressing these reporters we can observe synaptic activity in vivo as the visual system or neurons in the lateral line respond to stimuli. 

Much of our past work has investigated the retina of zebrafish, but we are now also working on visual processing beyond the retina, including the visual cortex of mice.  One of our aims is to understand how the short-term platicity of synapses contributes to the control of tuning and responsitivity within these circuits.  We are also particularly interested in “network adaptation” - changes in the way that visual stimuli are processed by the neural circuit according to the recent history of activity.

Our experimental approaches involve a combination of techniques, including electrophysiology, molecular biology, multiphoton imaging, single-plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) and computational modelling.

Click here for a broader overview of our research.


Lab1 Lab6 Lab4



PhD position

PhD projects are available in my lab on a range of questions in sensory neuroscience.  This year (2019!), you can apply for a particular project on 'Plasticity of visual processing in primary visual cortex' or we can also discuss other possible projects investigating vision and mechanosensation in zebrafish.  Funding is competitive, and if you are interested you must apply through Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme entitled ’From Sensation and Perception to Awareness’.   If you are interested, it's a good idea to contact me first by e-mail.




Prof. Leon Lagnado FMedSci

Professor of Neuroscience

School of Life Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QG

Tel: 01273 877431