Department of Neurophysiology
Tel. +41 44 635 3342
Fax +41 44 635 3303
Keywords: Neural network computation in the visual cortex. Two-photon imaging of
neural networks in vivo during artificial and natural visual stimulation.
Visual features are encoded into specific spatiotemporal activity patterns by neural populations in the visual cortex. Figuratively, neuronal networks function like an orchestra where different melodies can represent specific states like the four seasons. I approach the question of their representation and encoding using a combination of state-of-the-art imaging techniques and single-cell electrophysiological recordings in rat visual cortex in vivo.
Our recent development of a 3D network imaging method allows recordings from large populations of neurons with single cell resolution. This technique offers for the first time the study of hundreds of visually identified neurons and the combination with direct intracellular recordings from individual neurons will greatly enhance the interpretation of the results and lead to new vistas on cortical information processing. This project thus aims at providing an unprecedented detailed view of neuronal network dynamics. The results will be highly significant for understanding how sensory input is represented and processed in the cortex and how a representation of the surrounding world can be formed by neuronal network activity patterns.
1 Junior Group Leader, 1 PhD Student, 1 Master
In my previous work I have studied the assembly and plasticity of neuronal networks in brain slices. Using a combination of imaging techniques and patch-clamp recordings we showed that inputs onto cortical neurons from different pathways can also use separate learning rules to tune their synaptic contacts. In a further study we looked at the local connectivity between neuronal networks showing that cortical feedforward networks are assembled to enable integration of different stream of sensory information. I am now studying these models in the intact brain focussing on the rat visual cortex.
Two-photon laser-scanning microscopy, in vivo
imaging, electrophysiology, in vivo single unit and patch-clamp recordings,
computational single neuron and network modeling
Kampa BM, Roth MM, Göbel W, Helmchen F. Representation of visual scenes by local neuronal populations in layer 2/3 of mouse visual cortex. Front Neural Circuits. 2011;5:18. Epub 2011 Dec 12.
Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Zurich Forschungskredit
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