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Seminar: Dr Naoya Takahashi

June 10 @ 16:00 - 17:00

Dendritic mechanisms for somatosensory perception

Monday 10 June, 4pm at the Small Lecture Theatre, DPAG Sherrington Building, Oxford


The Cortex Club is excited to host Dr Naoya Takahashi from the Humbold University Berlin, who will be talking to us about his work on the role of cortical and subcortical pathways in perception. Please join us on June 10th, at the Small Lecture Theatre in the Sherrington Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Parks Road, Oxford.

Dr Naoya Takahashi is happy 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.

Please also join us at the pub after the talk, to which everybody is welcome. Register at https://forms.gle/UmRftpmXEE414vrm8



The result of cortical processing is routed to different downstream targets via distinct pathways – broadly, cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical. It is as yet unclear what roles these pathways play in perception, and what cellular and circuit mechanisms regulate their gating. I recently showed that activation of the apical dendrites of layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons correlates to the threshold for perception (Takahashi et al., 2016). Two distinct classes of L5 neurons target either other cortical areas or subcortical areas. I took advantage of two transgenic mouse lines to determine the relative contribution of these L5 subclasses to the perceptual process. I found that the activation of apical dendrites in neurons of the somatosensory cortex that project to subcortical regions almost exclusively determined the detection of whisker deflections in mice. Moreover, dendritic activation was strongly modulated by behavioral context. These results suggest that dendritic activation drives context-dependent interactions between cortex and subcortical regions that are crucial for perception. During the seminar, I will further discuss my long-term goal to develop a mechanistic understanding of how internal brain states, such as attention and expectation, modulate sensory processing to control perceptual behaviors.


June 10
16:00 - 17:00