In vivo structural plasticity
How does the structure of the brain change with experience?
I am approaching this broad question by imaging neurons, vasculature, and astrocytes in living mice over time-scales of minutes to months.
See the images.
Plasticity of intrinsic excitability
The way a neuron integrates incoming synaptic input to generate action potential output (a neurons intrinsic excitability) is critical for the functioning of the central nervous system. This integration is by no means fixed, it can be modified by activity. These modifications arise via changes in the expression level, location, or the biophysical properties of ion channel proteins (For a review, see Cudmore and Desai, Scholarpedia (2008)).
Action potential precision
Once a neuron is activated by a synapse, what determines the precision of its output action-potential? One obvious determinant is the suite of ion-channels the neurons expresses, their location, and their biophysical properties.
A single neuron stochastic model of action-potential precision
Hybrid networks and network synchrony
Studying how individual neurons contribute to the behavior of networks of neurons is difficult because there are many variables that cannot be experimentally controlled. Hybrid modeling is a technique where a real neuron is recorded from and its input/output is used to construct a modeled network of neurons. See Reyes (2003).
Modeling single neurons and networks of neurons
Modeling neurons and networks of neurons has a dual purpose (i) models can be used to determine if the parameters you have measured in an experiment are sufficient to explain your observations, and (ii) models can be used to make predictions that drive further experiments.
|Dept. of Neuroscience, Linden Lab||Johns Hopkins Medicine||© 2008-2016|