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Andrea Burgalossi"Recording and labeling single neurons in freely-moving rats: insights into medial entorhinal cortex"

Abstract :

Spatial memory formation in rodents is one of the most active areas of brain research.
Recordings from place-, head-direction and grid-cells have shaped our thinking about spatial cognition. Despite such advances, a mechanistic understanding of how individual neurons contribute to spatial representations is still lacking. To address this issue, we developed a novel head-mountable, pipette-positioning device, which allowed us to record and juxtacellularly label single neurons in awake, freely-moving animals. With our novel method we revealed the existence of highly-selective microcircuits between functionally-identified neurons in medial entorhinal cortex of the rat. Furthermore, we uncovered that deep layer neuronal activity is strongly modulated by environmental novelty. Altogether, these results indicate that our new method, which allows the combined analysis of neuronal morphology and activity in freely-behaving animals, can provide fundamental insights into the neuronal networks underlying spatial cognition and behavior.

Selected publications

Burgalossi A, Herfst L, von Heimendahl M, Förste H, Haskic K, Schmidt M, Brecht M (2011) Microcircuits of Functionally Identified Neurons in the Rat Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Neuron 70: 773-786.

SNARE protein recycling by αSNAP and βSNAP supports synaptic vesicle priming.Burgalossi A, Jung S, Meyer G, Jockusch WJ, Jahn O, Taschenberger H, O'Connor VM, Nishiki T, Takahashi M, Brose N, Rhee JS.Neuron. 2010 Nov 4;68(3):473-87. Erratum in: Neuron. 2012 Feb 9;73(3):620.

Scientific focus :

I am using the whole-cell patch clamp technique in freely moving animals to understand the cellular basis of spatial navigation.

Etienne Hezog de l'IINS