Linda Wilbrecht is particularly interested in the prefrontal cortex and striatal circuits and how genetic risk factors, adverse experience and the timing of puberty onset affects their development and function. Her laboratory studies the development of feedback-based learning, behavioral flexibility, decision-making and substance use in mouse models. She uses in vivo imaging and in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology to investigate developmental and experience-dependent changes in neural circuits and optogenetics and DREADDs to test how changes in neural activity may influence behavior. Wilbrecht’s laboratory also uses computational modeling to refine their evaluation of behavioral differences and to better delineate the function of neural circuits.
Wilbrecht received her Ph.D. from the The Rockefeller University, where she studied with Fernando Nottebohm. She completed postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with Karel Svoboda and at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with Michael Merzenich.
She started her own research laboratory at UCSF in 2008 and moved to the University of California, Berkeley in 2013, where she received tenure in 2015. Major awards include the National Institute of Mental Health Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) and the Whitehouse Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.