Faculty » Kelly J. Huffman

My research is focused on the development and evolution of the mammalian neocortex. In my laboratory, I investigate the mechanisms involved in the development of the neocortex, specifically the establishment of discrete neocortical areas and the ‘wiring’ of the brain. I use a molecular, genetic approach to study neocortical development and regionalization, coupled with a neuroanatomical approach. I study specific genetic interactions to better understand the development of areas and topographies within the cortex. To do this, I use different mouse lines that are lacking genes important for the generation of cortical areas. Another area of interest involves the study of activity-related mechanisms. I am interested in how input-induced neocortical plasticity interacts with gene expression in the cortex. For example, does neocortical gene expression regulate cortical plasticity, or do alterations in input regulate patterns of gene expression, or both? Using state of the art molecular techniques, including in situ hybridization and in vitro electroporation, as well as immuno-histochemical, electrophysiological and tract tracing techniques, I hope to better understand the genetic (intrinsic) mechanisms as well as the epigenetic (extrinsic) activity -related mechanisms involved in the generation and maintenance of the very complex cerebral cortex.

Selected Publications

Huffman, K.J., Garel, S., and Rubenstein, J.L.R. (2004). Fgf8 regulates the development of intra-neocortical projections. Journal of Neuroscience. 24(41): 8917-8923.

Krubitzer, L., Huffman, K.J., Disbrow, E., and Recanzone, G. (2004). Organization of Area 3a in macaque monkeys: contributions to the cortical phenotype. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 471: 97-111.

Garel, S., Huffman, K.J., Martin, G., Rubenstein, J. ( 2003). Molecular regionalization of the neocortex is disrupted in Fgf8 hypomorphic mutants. Development. 130(9): 1903-14.

Geary, D. and Huffman K.J. (2002). Brain and Cognitive Evolution: Forms of Modularity and Functions of Mind. Psychological Bulletin. 128(5): 667-698.

Huffman, K.J., and Krubitzer, L. (2001). Area 3a: Topographic organization and cortical connections in marmoset monkeys. Cerebral Cortex. 11: 849-867. COVER PHOTO.

Huffman, K.J., and Krubitzer, L. (2001). Thalamo-cortical connections of areas 3a and M1 in marmoset monkeys. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 435: 291-310.

Krubitzer, L., and Huffman, K.J. (2000). Arealization of the neocortex in mammals: Genetic and epigenetic contributions to the phenotype. Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 55(6):322-335.

Kahn, D.M., Huffman, K. J., and Krubitzer, L. (2000). The organization and connections of V1 in Monodelphis domestica. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 428:337-354.

Huffman K.J., Molnár Z., Van Dellen A., Kahn , D.M., Blakemore C., and Krubitzer, L. (1999). Formation of cortical fields on a reduced cortical sheet. Journal of Neuroscience. 19(22): 9939-9952.

Huffman, K.J., Nelson, J., Clarey, J., and Krubitzer, L. (1999). Organization of somatosensory cortex in three species of marsupials, Dasyurus hallucatus, Dactylopsila trivirgata, and Monodelphis domestica: neural correlates of morphological specializations. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 403:5-32.

Krubitzer, L., with Huffman, K., and Molnar, Z. (1998). Constructing a neocortex: influences on the pattern of organization in mammals. In: Brain and Mind: evolutionary perspectives. Pages 19-33. Eds: Gazzaniga, M, and Altman, J. Human Frontier Science Program, Strasbourg, France.