Bilal Haider’s research goal is to identify cellular and circuit mechanisms that modulate neuronal responsiveness in the cerebral cortex in vivo. He has identified excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms in vivo that mediate rapid initiation, sustenance, and termination of persistent activity in the cortex. He is investigating the role of inhibitory circuits during wakefulness. His work showed for the first time that synaptic inhibition powerfully controls the spatial and temporal properties of visual processing in the awake cortex. His future research will investigate mechanisms used by excitatory and inhibitory neuronal sub-types in the cortex during goal-directed behaviors.