Seminar: Dr Kerry Walker

Neural processes for experiencing a musical note

Friday 21 February, 4pm at the Sherrington Library, Sherrington Building, Oxford

 

 

The Cortex Club is excited to presents ECR fellow Kerry Walker from DPAG, Oxford,  who will be talking to us about her work on the perception of pitch. Please join us on February 21st at the Sherrington Library, located in the Sherrington Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

 

Please also join us for drinks after the talk.

 

 

 

Abstract

The early auditory system decomposes incoming sounds into a collection of sine waves with different frequencies. But we would not describe our everyday experience of hearing sound as one of “perceiving frequencies”. Rather, we hear complex features such as a familiar voice or a musical melody. My research group examines how the auditory cortex integrates the frequency and timing components of sounds into more behaviourally relevant features, such as “pitch”. Pitch is our perception of the tonal quality of sounds that allows us to experience musical melody. We are using a combination of electrophysiological, behavioural and 2-photon calcium imaging techniques in ferrets to better understand how populations of auditory cortical neurons encode a sound’s pitch. Our results have provided insights into the mechanisms used by individual neurons and neural populations to produce our perception of pitch across a wide range of complex sounds. This work helps explain how we can recognize a familiar tune on a violin or piano.

Q&A: Associate Prof Theresa Burt De Perera

Navigating in a three-dimensional world

Friday 15 February, 1pm at the Large Lecture Theatre, Sherrington Building, Oxford

 

The Cortex Club is excited to presents Associate Prof Teresa Burt De Perera from the Zoology Department, Oxford, who, as part of the DPAG Head of the Department seminar series,  will be talking to us about her work on how animals deal with navigation in a three-dimensional world. Please join us on February 15th 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. Please sign up at: https://goo.gl/forms/S0UIVrkeKGwe9drY2

 

 

Abstract

The ability to navigate efficiently is fundamental to animals’ survival and success; enabling them to find mates, avoid predators and find their way home. To orient around their local environment, animals must recognise their own position with respect to a goal. This task can be achieved through a representation of space in their brain, built upon learning and remembering environmental features that are inputted through multiple sensory systems. A substantial research effort has sought to understand how animals navigate, but this has been focused on horizontal movement, despite the real world being three-dimensional. Indeed, most animals have some kind of vertical component to their movements, and there are both quantitative and qualitative reasons why navigating through environments with a vertical axis might be different to navigating purely in 2D. This is pushed to the extreme in volumetric environments, such as those inhabited by many fish. By using experimental and theoretical approaches, we consider how pelagic and benthic fish deal with 3D navigation; from the sensory input, to what information is learned and remembered. This not only allows us to unpick the mechanisms that underpin this important behaviour, but can also inform us about the processes behind learning and memory themselves.

Seminar: Prof Oscar Marin

Molecular mechanisms of cortical interneuron diversity and plasticity

Friday 12 February, 4pm at the Large Lecture Theatre, Le Gros Clarke Building, Oxford

 

 

The Cortex Club is delighted to presents Prof Oscar Marin from the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at King’s College London, who will be talking to us about his work diversity and plasticity of cortical interneurons. Please join us on February 12th at the Large Lecture Theatre, located in the Le Gros Clarke Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

 

Prof Marin has kindly agreed to meet students and staff individually. If you would like to arrange a meeting please contact matthew.buchan – at – chch.ox.ac.uk.

 

 

Abstract

GABAergic interneurons play crucial roles in the regulation of neural circuit activity in the cerebral cortex. A hallmark of cortical interneurons is their remarkable structural and functional diversity, yet the molecular determinants and the precise timing underlying their diversification remain largely unknown. The search for mechanisms controlling the diversity of GABAergic interneurons has primarily focused on the analysis of transcriptional programs in their progenitor cells. In this talk, I will describe how transcriptional programmes, both during embryonic development and in the postnatal brain, regulate the identity of specific classes of cortical interneurons, thereby contributing to the generation of neuronal diversity in the cerebral cortex.

Q&A: Magdalena Sauvage

Medial Temporal Lobe networks and Memory: processing spatial and non-spatial information overtime

Friday 8 February, 1pm at the Large Lecture Theatre, Sherrington Building, Oxford

 

The Cortex Club is excited to presents Prof Madgalena Sauvage, from the Leibniz Institute of Neurobiology, Ruhr University Bochum, who, as part of the DPAG Head of the Department seminar series,  will be talking to us about her work on information processing in the medial temporal in the context of memory. Please join us on February 8th 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

Although the contribution of the hippocampus to episodic memory is well-established, much remains to be known about the network mechanisms underlying memory retrieval at this level and the specific involvement of each hippocampal subfield in this process. I will present recent data based on activity-dependent gene mapping, optogenetics and behavioral techniques showing that dissociating CA1’s from CA3‘s contribution and the contribution of their proximal from that of their distal parts, are essential for a better understanding of spatial and non-spatial information processing in the medial temporal lobe for recent (few min) to very remote (1 year-old) memories (Nakamura et al, J. Neurosc., 2013; Lux et al, Elife, 2017; Beer and Vavra, Plos Biology, 2018).

Workshop: Two-Photon Microscopy

Technical workshop on the function and utility of two-photon microscopy in neuroscience

Tuesday 5 February, Tuesday – 3pm at the OCGF Seminar Room, DPAG/Sherrington Bldg

The Cortex Club is excited to host a workshop on Two-Photon Imaging in Neuroscience, led by Dr Adam Packer, Sir Henry Dale Fellow at DPAG, Oxford.

If you have ever wondered how two-photon imaging works, this introductory workshop is for you! Please join us on February 5th at the OCGF Seminar Room, located in the Sherrington Building of the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

 

 

Registration is required – please sign at at: https://goo.gl/forms/aAp1ctYziQ2EIQPc2

Attendants and everyone else with an interest in the subject are also invited to join us at the pub after the workshop.  For more information contact tai-ying.lee [at] dpag.ox.ac.uk.

 

Abstract

Optical approaches are revolutionising the way experiments are performed in systems neuroscience. This workshop will focus on two-photon microscopy, explaining how it works and why it is useful. Starting with basic optical principles, we will work our way up to advanced approaches. The goal of the workshop is to develop an intuition for the basic operating principles of these microscopes and how they can be used to record and manipulate neural activity in vivo. This workshop is geared towards those interested in using this approach in their work as well as current users of two-photon microscopy that wish to understand more deeply how the microscope works. Topics covered include:
  1. How do lenses work
  2. Fluorescence and two-photon excitation
  3. How does a two-photon microscope work
  4. Two-photon optogenetics and multi-cell stimulation with spatial light modulators