Neocortical circuits - Letzkus Group

Neocortical Circuits Lab
Brain functions such as perception, learning and emotion are generated by the activity patterns of neurons dynamically interacting within their circuits. Today we have a detailed understanding of the computational capacity of single neurons. In contrast, the principles governing information processing once neurons are connected into circuits are still poorly understood. Research addressing this question has recently received a strong boost through the development of several new experimental approaches that allow high-resolution dissection of circuit function (in vivo 2-photon microscopy, transgenic mouse lines, viral vectors and optogenetics). We apply these techniques to investigate information processing in sensory areas of neocortex during perception and learning. Our research is guided by some key principles:

1. Circuits are best studied in their native environment, with inputs and outputs intact- i.e. we perform most experiments in vivo.
2. Circuits are composed of a rich diversity of neuron types with highly specialized function. We perform cell-type specific experiments to determine each neuron type’s contribution to circuit function.
3. Circuits are complex systems, making it difficult to extrapolate or generalize their function between different conditions. Thus, our experiments aim to model the brain function under investigation as closely as possible- mainly we study circuit activity during behavior.



Upcoming Lectures and Events

10 January 2018

Neuroscience Lecture by Claudia Clopath (Bioengineering Department, Imperial College London, UK)

Title: "Modelling plasticity in neural circuits" [more]

11 January 2018

Special Lecture by Sebastian Haesler (NERF, Leuven, Belgium)

Title t.b.a. [more]

17 January 2018

Neuroscience Lecture by Kristian Franze (Dept. of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK)

Title: "The mechanical control of neuronal growth" [more]

24 January 2018

Neuroscience Lecture by Susanne Schreiber (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institute for Theoretical Biology)

Title: "Temperature and co: tuning into a new dynamical regime of neurons”. [more]

30 January 2018

Special/NeuroBioTheory Lecture by Tatiana Engel (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA)

Title: "Discovering dynamic computations in the brain from large-scale neural activity rec... [more]