The Cortex Club connects researchers at the University of Oxford with world-leading neuroscientists through a unique educational forum dealing with cutting-edge topics and significant challenges in neuroscience. Our events range from small intense debates with up-and-coming scientists to large discussion sessions led by internationally prominent speakers, followed by the opportunity to ask them questions over drinks.

Q&A: Prof. Mehmet Fatih Yanik

Engineering brain activity patterns for therapeutics of disorders

Friday 3 May, 1pm at the Large Lecture Theatre, Sherrington Building, Oxford

 

The Cortex Club is thrilled to host Prof. Mehmet Fatih Yanik from the University of Zurich, who, as part of the DPAG Head of the Department seminar series, will be talking to us about affecting network behaviour in zebrafish brains using non-invasive neuromodulators. Please join us on May 3rd at the Large Lecture Theatre, located in the Sherrington Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

 

We are hosting a Q&A session after the talk from 2.00 to 3.00 to which students and staff are warmly invited.

 

 

Abstract

Brain networks are disrupted in numerous disorders. We will first show how the aberrant brain-wide activity patterns can be corrected by targeting distinct network motifs with multiple neuromodulators using a zebrafish model of human epilepsy and autism. This systematic approach rescues behaviour unlike any other treatment resulting from large-scale drug screens. With methods promising future therapeutic use, we will next show how specific molecular targets in different brain circuits in mammals can be non-invasively and spatially targeted, and discuss how cortex-wide activity patterns can be captured chronically at single neuron resolution with minimal invasiveness using neuromorphic microchips.

Seminar: Prof Ann-Shyn Chiang

The Dynamic Memory Connectome

Thursday 18 April, 4pm at the Large Lecture Theatre, Le Gros Clark Building, Oxford

 

The Cortex Club proudly presents Prof Ann-Shyn Chiang from the National Tsing Hua University, who will be talking to us about his novel multi-scale imaging approach to map the entire Drosophila brain. Please join us on April 14th at the Large Lecture Theatre, located in the Le Gros Clark Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

 

 

 

Prof. Ann-Shyn Chiang has kindly agreed to meet students and staff individually. If you would like to arrange a meeting please contact Tai-Ying Lee at tai-ying.lee [at] dpag.ox.ac.uk.

 

 

Abstract

Understanding information flows and their changes in the brain requires a comprehensive map of neural structures at all levels, similar to those of Google Earth for continents, countries, cities and streets. By integrating multiscale imaging technologies, I propose a practical approach aiming for mapping individual neurons, cellular organelles, synapses and single molecules in the entire Drosophila brain. I will discuss how the generated connectome map help us to classify cell types, predict information flow, and manipulate target neurons that orchestrate complex behaviours. Our long-term goal is to construct the Drosophila engram and understand how learning and memory change the decision.

 

 

Seminar: Dr Grace Lindsay

Principles of Science Writing that Can Help Your Science

Friday 15 March, 4pm at the Sherrington Library, Sherrington Building, Oxford

 

The Cortex Club is delighted to host Dr Grace Lindsay, computational neuroscientist at Columbia University, New York City, and science communicator involved in the podcast series Unsupervised Thinking and other outlets.

Dr Lindsay will be talking to us about how principles of science communication can benefit scientific thinking in an academic context. Please join us on March 15th at the Sherrington Library, located in the Sherrington Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

If you would like to arrange a personal meeting with Dr Lindsay please contact Tai-Ying Lee at tai-ying.lee [at] dpag.ox.ac.uk or join us at the pub after the talk for an informal meeting.

 

 

Abstract

The goals of communicating science and of doing science are not directly aligned. This doesn’t mean, however, that scientists have nothing to learn from the principles of science writing. In this talk I’ll pull from established science writing principles as well as my own experience as both a scientist and science communicator to demonstrate how these principles can assist in scientific thinking. This will include ideas about doing literature research, thinking about narratives, pulling together disparate concepts, and keeping the bigger picture in mind.

Marianne Fillenz Annual Lecture + Q&A: Prof David Bannerman

Attention: Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) might be important after all!

Friday 1 March, 1pm at the Large Lecture Theatre, Sherrington Building, Oxford

 

This year’s Marianne Fillenz Lecture will be given by Prof David Bannerman, Head of the Behavioural Neuroscience Unit, Oxford, who will be talking to us about his work on hippocampal long-term potentiation. Please join us on March 1st at the Large Lecture Theatre, located in the Sherrington Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

The Cortex Club is delighted to host a Q&A session with Prof Bannerman after the talk from 2.00 to 3.00 to which students and staff are warmly invited. Please sign up at: https://goo.gl/forms/lKrYWypMWGSbZAvF2

 

 

Abstract

Several lines of evidence, including recent GWAS, have suggested that schizophrenia may be a disorder of impaired synaptic plasticity, particularly in the hippocampus. Traditionally, hippocampal synaptic plasticity (e.g. long-term potentiation) has been thought to subserve the formation of associative memories. Yet schizophrenic subjects are often considered to be more, rather than less, likely to form associations, which is thought to underlie the generation of their false beliefs and delusions. I will present data showing that ablating key glutamate receptor subunits involved in hippocampal synaptic plasticity (and implicated in schizophrenia) leads to deficits in a form of non-associative short-term memory that underlies the habituation of attention. This generates aberrant salience, hyperdopaminergic responses and increased theta coherence, and an increased (rather than decreased) propensity to form associations, reminiscent of what is seen in schizophrenic patients. The implications of these results for understanding synaptic homeostasis during sleep will also be discussed.

Symposium: Decision-Making across Different Species and Research Approaches

 

Decision-Making Symposium

 

The Cortex Club is delighted to announce our Hilary Term Symposium, organised in collaboration with Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, London, and support from the British Neuroscience Association.

Decision-making across different species and research approaches.
Tuesday 26th February
9:00 – 17:00 at the Pharmacology Lecture Theatre
Department of Pharmacology, Oxford.

 

Speakers include:
Dr Helen Barron, University of Oxford
Dr Tiago Branco, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, London
Dr Laurence Hunt, University of Oxford
Prof. Scott Waddell, University of Oxford
Prof. Linda WilbrechtUniversity of California, Berkeley

 

alongside student talks and panel discussion.

 

Registration is required. Please register at: https://decision-making-symposium.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Places are available for a formal dinner with the speakers at Christ Church College. Places are limited and will be balloted (priority for BNA members)