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The Department of Physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine holds events for faculty, residents, and fellows. See details on the individual events via the entries below.
The department of Physiology welcomes Paul S. Buckmaster, Ph.D.
Abstract: Temporal lobe epilepsy is common and can be difficult to treat. The cause of seizures in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy is unknown. We use anatomical and electrophysiological techniques to evaluate animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy, including sea lions, to test the hippocampal formation s role in generating spontaneous seizures.
The department of Physiology welcomes Carlos Portera-Cailliau, M.D., Ph.D.
To uncover the circuit-level alterations that underlie atypical sensory processing associated with autism, we have adopted a symptom-to-circuit approach in the Fmr1-/- mouse model of Fragile X syndrome (FXS). Using a go/no-go task and in vivo 2-photon calcium imaging, we find that impaired visual discrimination in Fmr1-/- mice correlates with marked deficits in orientation tuning of principal neurons, and a decrease in the activity of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons in primary visual cortex. Restoring visually evoked activity in PV cells in Fmr1-/-mice with a chemogenetic (DREADD) strategy was sufficient to rescue their behavioral performance. Strikingly, human subjects with FXS exhibit similar impairments in visual discrimination asFmr1-/- mice. These results suggest that manipulating inhibition may help sensory processing in FXS. More recently, we find that the ability of Fmr1-/- mice to perform the visual discrimination task is also drastically impaired in the presence of visual or auditory distractors, suggesting that sensory hypersensitivity may affect higher order perceptual learning in autism.
The department of Physiology welcomes Charles Wilson, Ph.D.
Abstract: In the basal ganglia, many long range synaptic signals are inhibitory, and the postsynaptic targets of inhibition are often spontaneously active neurons. Activity in the striatal direct pathway inhibits spontaneous firing in the basal ganglia output neurons, whereas activity in the indirect pathway inhibits the spontaneous activity of globus pallidus, disinhibiting the basal ganglia output. At the level of the basal ganglia output neuron, inhibition and disinhibition both appear as changes in a continuously varying inhibitory synaptic conductance. How is the waveform of inhibitory synaptic conductance translated to changes in frequency or timing of action potentials in the postsynaptic cell? A method for predicting patterns of firing in spontaneously firing neurons in response to inhibition and disinhibition will be presented and used to predict the peristimulus time histogram of basal ganglia output neurons.
The department of Physiology welcomes Tim Cope, Ph.D.
The department of Physiology welcomes Mariela Zirlinger, Ph.D.
Herbert Y. Meltzer, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Physiology and Director of the Translational Neuropharmacology Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL
The department of Physiology welcomes Scott C. Baraban, Ph.D.
The department of Physiology welcomes Min Cho, Ph.D.
The department of Physiology welcomes Kathleen Cullen, Ph.D.