Skirmantas Janusonis

Skirmantas Janusonis


Research Area

Neuroscience and Behavior


Skirmantas Janusonis received his B.S./M.S. in Biology (with an emphasis in Biophysics) from Vilnius University and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience & Behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Department of Neuroscience of the Yale University School of Medicine. In 2006, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the California NanoSystems Institute. He is a faculty member of the UCSB Neuroscience Research Institute and Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Dynamical Neuroscience.


Dr. Janusonis leads an interdisciplinary research program that investigates the dynamics and self-organization of strongly stochastic axons. These axons move though the brain in random walk-like trajectories and are a core component of biological neural networks, from cartilaginous fish to mammals (including humans). A special focus of this research is the serotonergic matrix, a massive but enigmatic axonal meshwork that controls perception and neuroplasticity. Experimental approaches are based on transgenic animal models, advanced microscopy techniques, neuronal cell cultures, and comparative neurobiology. The research has a strong computational neuroscience component, with collaborations with multiparticle physicists and mathematicians in the field of stochastic processes.

Selected Publications

  • Mays K.C., Haiman J.H., Janusonis S. (2023) An experimental platform for stochastic analyses of single serotonergic fibers in the mouse brain. Frontiers in Neuroscience 17: 1241919. 

  • Janusonis S., Haiman J.H., Metzler R., Vojta T. (2023) Predicting the distribution of serotonergic axons: A supercomputing simulation of reflected fractional Brownian motion in a 3D-mouse brain model. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 17: 1189853. 

  • Hingorani M., Viviani A.M., Sanfilippo J.E., Janusonis S. (2022) High-resolution spatiotemporal analysis of single serotonergic axons in an in vitro system. Frontiers in Neuroscience 16: 994735.

  • Lee C., Zhang Z., Janusonis S. (2022) Brain serotonergic fibers suggest anomalous diffusion-based dropout in artificial neural networks. Frontiers in Neuroscience 16: 949934. 

  • Janusonis S., Detering N. (2019) A stochastic approach to serotonergic fibers in mental disorders. Biochimie 161: 15-22.

  • Janusonis S. (2018) Some galeomorph sharks express a mammalian microglia-specific protein in radial ependymoglia of the telencephalon. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 91: 17-30.

  • Janusonis S. (2014) Serotonin dynamics in and around the central nervous system: Is autism solvable without fundamental insights? International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 39: 9-15.

  • Flood Z.C., Engel D.L.J., Simon C.C., Negherbon K.R., Murphy L.J., Tamavimok W., Anderson G.M., Janusonis S. (2012) Brain growth trajectories in mouse strains with central and peripheral serotonin differences: Relevance to autism models. Neuroscience 210: 286-295.

  • Slaten E.R., Hernandez M.C., Albay R. III, Lavian R., Janusonis S. (2010) Transient expression of serotonin 5-HT4 receptors in the mouse developing thalamocortical projections. Developmental Neurobiology 70: 165-181. 

  • Janusonis S. (2012) Relationships among variables and their equilibrium values: caveats of time-less interpretation. Biological Reviews 87: 275-289.