Michael Goard

 Michael Goard photo

Assistant Professor

Research Area

Neuroscience and Behavior


Dr. Michael Goard received his B.A. in Psychology from Reed College and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he developed approaches for imaging and manipulating the activity of large populations of neurons in behaving mice. He is joining the faculty of UC Santa Barbara in 2016, where his lab will investigate the neural circuitry underlying our perceptual and cognitive abilities.


The overarching goal of my research is to better understand how the mammalian neocortex processes and stores incoming sensory information. To this end, my lab employs large-scale two-photon calcium imaging, multi-unit electrophysiology, and optogenetic manipulation of neural activity in behaving mice. For more information on current projects, please refer to my lab page.

Selected Publications

  • Pho GN, Goard MJ, Crawford B, Sur M. Active engagement induces stimulus-specific modulation of population activity in visual and parietal cortex of mice. In preparation.
  • Goard MJ, Pho GN, Woodson J, Sur M. Distinct roles of visual, parietal, and frontal motor cortices in a memory-guided sensorimotor decision. 2016eLife, 5:e13764
  • Pinto L, Goard MJ, Estandian D, Xu M, Kwan AC, Lee SH, Harrison TC, Feng G, Dan Y (2013). Fast modulation of visual perception by basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. Nature Neuroscience, 16(12): 1857-63.
  • Chen Q, Cichon J, Wang W, Qiu L, Lee SJ, Campbell NR, Destefino N, Goard MJ, Fu Z, Yasuda R, Looger LL, Arenkiel BR, Gan WB, Feng G (2012). Imaging neural activity using Thy1-GCaMP transgenic mice. Neuron, 76(2): 297-308.
  • Goard M & Dan Y (2009). Basal forebrain activation enhances cortical coding of natural scenes. Nature Neuroscience, 12(11): 1444-9.
  • Goard M, Aakalu G, Fedoryak O, Quinonez C, Poteet S, Dore TM, Schuman EM (2005). Light-mediated inhibition of local protein synthesis. Chemistry & Biology, 12(6): 685-93.