Tomomi Karigo,PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Specialization: Neural circuit mechanisms underlyingsocial behaviors


Kennedy Krieger Institute

707 N. Broadway, 400L

Baltimore, MD 21205


Development of social behavior circuits during puberty. Understanding the influence of environmental stress in development

Adolescence represents a significant period of physical and psychological growth, transitioning an individual from childhood into adulthood. This transformative phase is triggered by the onset of puberty, a stage when hormonal surges drive changes in physical appearance, stimulate reproductive system development, and induce substantial rewiring of neural circuits within the brain. Crucially, these periods of early life and puberty can be highly sensitive to stress. Exposure to stress during these stages can leave a profound impact on the developing brain, potentially manifesting as enduring disturbances in mental health. A range of psychiatric disorders associated with deficits in social behavior, including social phobia, aggression, and anxiety disorders, typically emerge during adolescence. Despite the prevalence of these conditions, there remains a limited understanding of how the neural circuits governing social behaviors evolve and mature.


Our laboratory is dedicated to exploring how these social behavior circuits evolve during puberty and understanding the influence of stressful environments on the developing brain. We leveragecutting-edge techniques in systems neuroscience, such as in vivo neural activity recordings from freely behaving animals, optogenetics, and automated animal behavior tracking. With this knowledge, we aspire to enhance therapeutic strategies for preventing and treating psychiatric disorders associated with social behavior deficits. 


To advance neuroscience discovery by uniting neuroscience, engineering and computational data science to understand the structure and function of the brain.