Neuroscience Lecture by Clay Reid (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA)

Title: Functional and structural imaging of a cortical circuit

Clay Reid

Time and venue: 11.00 a.m. at the Lecture Hall (room 0.10 of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max-von-Laue-Str. 3, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Campus Riedberg)

Local circuits in the cerebral cortex consist of tens of thousands of neurons, each of which makes and receives thousands of connections. The biggest impediment to understanding these circuits is that we have no wiring diagrams of their interconnections. But even if we had a wiring diagram, understanding the network would also require information about each neuron’s function. Recently, we have demonstrated that the relationship between structure and function can be studied in the cortex by combining in vivo physiology with subsequent network anatomy (Bock et al., 2011). We used two-photon calcium imaging to characterize a functional property—the preferred stimulus orientation—of a group of neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex. Large-scale electron microscopy of serial thin sections was then used to trace a portion of these neurons’ local network. Consistent with a prediction from recent physiological experiments, inhibitory interneurons received convergent anatomical input from nearby excitatory neurons with a broad range of preferred orientations, although weak biases could not be rejected
I will discuss methods for collecting large-scale data from neural circuits and the computational challenges presented. In particular, the new field of connectomics requires tools for the segmention and visualization multi-terabyte 3D data sets. For the first time, these data contain the information required to reconstruct large-scale networks in the mammalian brain.

Bock, DD, Lee, W-CA, et al. (2011) Network anatomy and in vivo physiology of a group of visual cortical neurons. Nature, 471:177-182. Link



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