Kavli Institute NeuroLunch
Tuesday, January 12th , 2016
Clay Lacefield PhD, Bruno Lab
"Behavioral rewards influence top-down inputs into primary sensory cortex via apical dendrites"
I received my Ph.D. in the laboratories of Rene Hen and Joshua Gordon at Columbia, studying circuit-level effects of the integration of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. In my postdoctoral work with Randy Bruno, I am looking at neural circuits involved in tactile perception in the primary somatosensory “barrel” cortex using two-photon microscopy in behaving mice.
In the neocortex, primary sensory areas represent the first stage in cortical sensory processing. However even at this level, diverse inputs from a variety of cortical and subcortical regions synapse onto cortical neurons conveying sensory information. This suggests that certain associations may be formed at the earliest stages of cortical sensory processing. To examine this possibility, I have recorded calcium activity in Layer 1 of the mouse primary somatosensory “barrel” cortex, a key site for integration of these inputs, using two-photon microscopy while animals perform a tactile detection task. I found that behavioral rewards influence activity in apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons, suggesting that top-down contextual inputs are integrated into sensory representations based upon their association with salient events such as behavioral reinforcement.
Seminars are held in:
Rm. 900 Sherman Fairchild Bldg. - Note the new room location for January!
12:00 pm - 1:00pm
1212 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10027