How brain circuitry that regulates specific behaviors emerges from development remains unknown. Research in my laboratory is directed toward addressing how genetic embryonic neurodevelopmental programs pattern development of circuitry of the limbic system: an interconnected set of brain structures that includes the olfactory system, amygdala and hypothalamus. Moreover, we are interested in the consequences of when these processes go awry, resulting in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders. To address these questions, using the mouse as a model, we employ a variety of state of the art techniques such as conditional transgenic and optogenetic approaches. From these studies we hope not only to gain greater insight into the neurotypical developing brain, but address core behavioral deficits in prevalent human neurological disorders.