Approach

To tackle our scientific objectives we are using multiple approaches spanning from systems to molecules and back (see pictures below). We integrate this information in computational models to analyze and predict brain function and changes. Besides that we enjoy being puzzled every day.

System neurophysiology in vivo

We are probing the brain using in vivo imaging and electrophysiological methods to monitor the activity of single neurons and large neuronal populations.

In vivo 2-photon calcium imagingWith this method we can image the activity of hundreds of neurons over large areas with single cell resolution (see image to right, every round spot is a neuron). We are looking at cortical maps of stimulus features and how they develop (i.e. Bandyopadhyay et al.Winkowski & Kanold).

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Single and multi electrode electrophysiological recordings. We use these techniques to record where we cannot image: deep in the brain or to get information at high time resolution.

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System neurophysiology in vitro

We use brain slices to study and dissect mesoscale circuits using patch clamp and imaging techniques coupled with laser-scanning photostimulation (LSPS) (i.e. Zhao et al.Viswanathan et al.). We utilize brain slices that contain the thalamus and the cortex to study the circuits that connect these structures.

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Thalamocortical slice

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happy subplate neurons spiking

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LSPS reveals that L2/3 of A1 contains cells with from at least 5 different functional classes based on their functional circuits. From Meng et al. 2017.

Molecules and pathways

We augment physiological studies by molecular and histological methods (In situ hybridizations, qPCR, immunohistochemistry, anterograde and retrograde tracers) to get a full picture of the developing brain.

Computational modeling

We integrate all the information we learned into realistic computational models. We implement these models in C++ or MATLAB and run them on PC’s/Macs, clusters, or iPhones.

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