Research in our laboratory is focusing on the impact of general anesthetics on the developing central nervous system as well as on elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. These investigations are motivated by the fact that millions of infants and young children receive anesthesia every year worldwide and perioperative neuromorbidity is several folds higher in these populations compared to older age groups. Since general anesthetics act on a wide variety of ligand-gated ionotropic, and therefore are powerful modulators of neuronal activity, they may indeed induce lasting changes in immature neuronal networks. Therefore, we specifically aim to elaborate the issues of how and to what extent these drugs induce morpho-functional changes in developing neural networks during the brain growth spurt. To achieve these goals, we use a combination of biochemical, electrophysiological and live imaging techniques to study the developmental stage-dependent influence of general anesthetics on the establishment of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic contacts during the assembly of neuronal circuitry in the immature brain.