Optical dissection of the thalamocortical circuits underlying the processing of sensory information in the mouse somatosensory system

Dr Tommaso Fellini (from the Italian Institute of Technology) will be speaking on optical dissection of the thalamocortical circuits underlying the processing of sensory information in the mouse somatosensory system. The event will take place on 11th Feb 2020 at 4 pm in the Sherrington library.

If you would like to join us for after-talk pub with the speaker, sign up at: https://forms.gle/bmf2cjm49UvZHFAT8

Sensory cortices are organized in multiple interconnected layers and contain several functionally distinct neural subnetworks. Elucidating the logic of interaction within and between cortical layers and subnetworks is essential for understanding the cellular basis of cortical function. In this seminar, I will focus on the role of specific layers in the modulation of sensory responses in the mouse somatosensory cortex. I will also present the development and application of new optical methods to monitor and bidirectionally manipulate the activity of neurons with high spatial resolution. I will discuss how these new technologies may greatly facilitate our understanding of the network mechanisms underlying the function of thalamocortical circuits.

Imaging mRNA localisation in memory-relevant neurons in the Drosophila brain

Join us on 28th January 2020 at 12pm for PIZZA and Science in the Sherrington Room. 

Abstract: Memories are encoded in Drosophila as dopamine driven changes in the efficacy of synaptic connections between Mushroom Body Kenyon Cells and Mushroom Body Output Neurons (MBONs). Evidence from flies and mammals suggests that some learning-relevant synaptic plasticity requires local translation of new proteins within specific neuronal processes. Neurons therefore have to deliver the relevant mRNAs to these neuronal compartments as a means of spatially and temporally regulating protein synthesis. We used single molecule fluorescent in situ hybridisation (smFISH) and the MS2 system to image mRNA localisation in the adult Drosophila brain, before and after learning. smFISH allowed us to visualise learning induced increases in CaMKII mRNA within the dendritic compartments of specific MBONs following aversive olfactory conditioning. We are now using the MS2 system to live-track mRNA transcripts in memory-relevant neurons of head-fixed flies, after learning. These developments enable the visualisation of molecular correlates of plasticity, and therefore extend the analysis of memory in Drosophila beyond measuring changes in odour-evoked neural activity.

What happens to neurons circuits in Alzheimer’s Disease?

On Tuesday 21st January, Dr Marc Busche from the University College London, will be giving a talk on “What happens to neurons circuits in Alzheimer’s Disease?”
The talk will be held at 4 pm in the Sherrington Room, Sherrington Building, Off Parks Road, OX1 3PT.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal brain disease with a massive societal impact. Identifying effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has proven extremely challenging and has instigated a recent shift in AD research focus towards the earliest disease-initiating cellular processes. A key insight has been that of an increase in soluble amyloid-beta in early AD that is causally linked to neuronal and circuit hyperexcitability. However, other peptides that accumulate in the AD brain, including tau, exhibit complex opposing effects on circuit dynamics (e.g. hypoexcitability). In this presentation, I will review the latest evidence base pertaining to hyper- and hypoexcitability in AD, and signpost potential pathways in which related neuronal dysfunction may be leveraged to guide biomarker identification and therapy in the disorder.

Everyone is welcome, if you would like to join us for after-talk pub with the speaker, please sign up at: https://forms.gle/cL23JpxcWKs2a3Rn9

Panel Discussion on Sleep: Features and Functions

We are excited to announce our final event of the year!

On Wednesday 11th December at 5 pm in the Sherrington Library,
in collaboration with the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (CNCB), we are hosting a panel discussion on Sleep: Features and Functions with:

Prof. Amita Sehgal, from the University of Pennsylvania;
Prof. Penelope Lewis, from the Cardiff University;
Dr. Jason Rihel, from University College London;
Prof. Stuart Peirson, Group Leader in the Sleep & Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford.

The Panel discussion will be followed by a Christmas-themed drinks reception, then everybody is welcome to join us to a pub for dinner with the speakers.

If you would like to join us for after-talk pub with the speakers, please sign up at: https://forms.gle/De2Ddto9nQnvg9qc9