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The Swanson lab is interested in the organization of neural networks that control motivated behavior in mammals. Specifically, research in Swanson’s lab has examined hypothalamic organization, has clarified the organization and neurotransmitter specificity of brainstem reflex inputs to the hypothalamus, and has addressing cerebral hemisphere inputs to the hypothalamus that mediate the voluntary control of motivated behaviors common to all animals (ingestive, reproductive, and defensive). More recently, Swanson's group has characterized functionally relevant changes in gene expression patterns in the brain. The approach is mostly structural, and to display and model results he is developing computer graphics and database approaches.