Dr. Lang Wang received her Ph.D. degree in Neurobiology from University of Science and Technology of China in 2006. She started her postdoctoral research at University of Minnesota in USA from 2006 to 2009, and then joined Dr. Arianna Maffei’s lab at Stony Brook University in New York to continue her postdoctoral work. She was promoted to a Research Scientist in 2014. Her research focused on the effects of multiple forms of neural plasticity on cortical circuit refinement during early postnatal development. In March 2016, Dr. Wang joined ZIINT at Zhejiang University as an Associate Professor. Her group will combine optogenetics, electrophysiology, imaging and behavioral approaches, using primary sensory cortex as a model, to explore the modulation of structure and function of neural circuits by early life experience, as well as the physiological roles of plasticity at neural circuits.
Extensive rewiring of cortical circuits occurs throughout life, and is especially prominent during early postnatal development. The flexibility of cortical circuits is a fundamental property that allows the brain to adapt to changes of internal and external environment, and promotes the maintenance of healthy sensory processing. It has been found that many forms of neural plasticity contribute to the refinement of cortical circuits and the development of cortical functions.
My group will combine optogenetics, electrophysiology, imaging and behavioral approaches to investigate the mechanisms of multiple forms of plasticity underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during early postnatal development. Our research will focus on 1) layer-specific experience-dependent plasticity in the primary sensory cortex; 2) the structure and plasticity of circuits in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC); 3) from rodents to primates – the physiological roles of neural plasticity in higher-level species. Ultimately, our goal is to understand how neural plasticity shapes brain function and to find new targets for the treatment of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.
1. Krishnan K, Wang BS, Lu J, Wang L, Maffei A, Cang J, Huang ZJ. (2015) MeCP2 regulates the timing of critical period plasticity that shapes functional connectivity in primary visual cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112(34): E4782-91.
2. Wang L and Maffei A. (2014) Inhibitory plasticity dictates the sign of plasticity at excitatory synapses. J Neurosci. 34 (4): 1083-93.
3. Wang L, Kloc M, Gu Y, Ge S, Maffei A. (2013) Layer-specific experience-dependent rewiring of thalamocortical circuits. J Neurosci. 33 (9): 4181-91.
4. Wang L, Fontanini A, Maffei A. (2012) Experience-dependent switch in sign and mechanisms for plasticity in layer 4 of primary visual cortex. J Neurosci. 32 (31): 10562-73.
5. Wang L, Fontanini A, Maffei A. (2011) Visual experience modulates spatio-temporal dynamics of circuit activation. Front Cell Neurosci. 5(12).