Beck Group

Current Research: All mammalian behavior relies on the recruitment of neuronal ensembles into precisely orchestrated discharges. How the different cellular and synaptic elements of a neuronal ensemble cooperate to produce characteristic patterns of activity in the central nervous system is a fundamental and important question in neuroscience. Resolving the function of elementary synaptic microcircuits that form a more complex circuitry will therefore significantly advance our understanding of brain function. On the level of individual nerve cells, understanding how complex temporal and spatial input patterns from excitatory, inhibitory and modulatory synapses are integrated to form an output signal is essential to grasp their function in the context of neuronal networks. To examine integration on the level of single cells, we are combining electrophysiology with multiphoton imaging and photostimulation techniques (Remy et al., 2009; Krueppel et al., 2011; Müller et al., 2012; Thome et al., 2014). Together with our collaborators, we are developing novel tools for selective neuronal manipulation such as aptamers (Lennarz et al., 2015), novel caged compounds, and optogenetic tools. On the level of networks, we are applying optogenetics, in-vitro and in-vivo patch-clamp recording, and dual-color in-vivo multiphoton imaging and fiber-optometry to understand how modulatory and inhibitory circuits structure input-output properties of specific … Continue reading Beck Group […]

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