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.

Cancelled: Talk with Prof Tansu Celikel

Dear all,

We regret to inform you that the talk today with Prof Tansu Celikel is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. This talk will be rescheduled for a later date, and we will inform you about it as soon as it is arranged.

With apologies and best wishes
Cortex Club Committee

Upcoming event: Book Club with British Neuroscience Association

Book Club with the Cortex Club and British Neuroscience Association 

Dates: February 16, 2021 5PM BST, March 2, 2021 5 PM BST, March 9, 2021 1 PM BST

Join us at the Cortex Club book club starting next month! Our first book will be ‘Other Minds’ by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Our first two sessions will be on Tuesday, 16th of February at 5 PM BST and Tuesday, 2nd of March, at 5 PM BST, followed by a virtual talk with the author on Tuesday, 9th of March at 1 PM BST! Each of these sessions will be an hour long.

Our goal for each of these book clubs is to bring together people every two weeks to discuss a section of a neuroscience-related book and facilitate an interesting conversation. There will be a reimbursement for the book cost if you join and participate in the book club. Please fill out this Google Form if you are interested in joining this event. The deadline for signing up is the 9th of February. Happy reading and we really look forward to discussing this book with you!

Movie night tonight: My Octopus Teacher

Movie night tonight: My Octopus Teacher

Date: February 23, 2021, 7 PM GMT

Join us for an octopus-themed movie night accompanying our Book Club! From Netflix: “My Octopus Teacher is a 2020 Netflix Original documentary film directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed which documents a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest.”

Attendees will need to download the Netflix Party browser extension (https://www.netflixparty.com/) and ensure they have a Netflix subscription to join the movie night.

Information to join will be sent in our mailing list.

History of Self Experimentation in Neuroscience

Talk with Dr. Matthew J Lennon

Time and date: February 17, 2021 4 P.M. GMT

Self-Experimentation has shaped the history of neurological research. Isaac Newton pushed a needle in his eye socket to map out the visual distribution of the retina. Angelo Ruffini resected sensitive parts of his own hand to discover sensory nerve endings, including the Ruffini Corpuscle. Oliver Sacks experimented with morphine to better understand subjective drug effects on patients. Kevin Warwick pioneered prosthetics research when he inserted an electrode array into his median nerve allowing him to control a robotic arm more than 10,000 kilometres away. Phillip Kennedy had electrodes inserted into the speech centres of his own brain to try to decode the neural signals of human speech. Self-experimenters have many motivations; to avoid institutional roadblocks, to risk themselves rather than others, to gain subjective research insights otherwise inaccessible to volunteers, to prove a concept otherwise too risky to test. Self-experimentation has little to no legal or institutional regulation, which can complicate the recognition and publication of the work. In the future, self-experimentation will have a critical role to play in neurology research but the practice will need to balance both the zeal of the individual researcher and regulation necessary to institutional recognition. 

 

New imaging tools to decipher neural network dysfunction underlying cognitive deficits in epilepsy

Talk with Dr Peyman Golshani

Date: February 9, 2021 5 PM BST, pub chat at 6 PM BST

Abstract: Temporal lobe epilepsy is associated with memory deficits but the circuit mechanisms underlying these cognitive disabilities are not understood. We used electrophysiological recordings, open-source wire-free miniaturized microscopy and computational modelling to probe these deficits in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. We find desynchronization of dentate gyrus interneurons with CA1 interneurons during theta oscillations and a loss of precision and stability of place fields. We also find that emergence of place cell dysfunction is delayed, providing a potential temporal window for treatments. Computation modelling shows that desynchronization rather than interneuron cell loss can drive place cell dysfunction. Future studies will uncover cell types driving these changes and transcriptional changes that may be driving dysfunction. I will also discuss new miniaturized microscopy tools, including wire-free, large-field-of view and miniaturized microscopes integrated with high channel count electrophysiology recordings.

Instructions on how to join the talk will be circulated tomorrow on this mailing list.