Department of Physiology, UCL, UK
Wednesday 14 May 2008
Seminar Room B10 (Basement)
Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR
Imaging functional organization and plasticity of mouse visual cortex
The vast majority of our knowledge about how the cerebral cortex represents information has been obtained from recordings of one or few neurons at a time or from global mapping methods such as fMRI. These approaches have left unexplored how neuronal activity is distributed in space and time within a cortical column and how hundreds of neurons interact to process sensory information. By taking advantage of recent advances in two-photon laser scanning microscopy, my research aims to understand development, plasticity and function of neuronal circuits in primary visual cortex. We use in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to record activity simultaneously from hundreds of neurons in visual cortex while showing different visual stimuli to anaesthetized mice. This approach enables us to characterize in detail how individual neurons and neuronal subsets interact within a large cortical network in response to different visual features. The same approach is used to describe the maturation of cortical network function after the onset of vision and to assess the role of visual experience in this process.