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Torfi Sigurdsson"Neural circuit dysfunction in schizophrenia: insights from genetic mouse models"

Abstract :


Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric illness whose causes are poorly understood, although the evidence to date clearly implicates dysfunctional brain circuits.
It is also well known that genetic mutations play a major role in the pathology of the disease, raising the question of how such mutations affect neural circuit function. I will discuss experiments that aim to address this question by recording neural activity from mice engineered to carry genetic
mutations that predispose to schizophrenia. The results of these experiments shed light on how such mutations may alter network function in the brain and thus impair cognition and behavior.

Selected publications

A. Adikhari, T. Sigurdsson, M. Topiwala, and J.A. Gordon (2010). Cross-correlation of instantaneous amplitudes of field potential oscillations: a straightforward frequency-specific method to estimate the directionality and lag between brain areas. Journal of Neuroscience Methods
191(2): 191-200.
T. Sigurdsson, K.L. Stark, M. Karayiorgou, J.A.Gogos and J.A. Gordon (2010). Impaired Hippocampal-Prefrontal Synchrony in a Genetic Mouse Model of
Schizophrenia. Nature 464: 763-7.
T. Sigurdsson, C.K. Cain, V. Doyere and J.E. LeDoux (2010). Asymmetries in long-term and short-term plasticity at thalamic and cortical inputs to the amygdala in vivo. European Journal of Neuroscience 31(2): 250:262.
T. Sigurdsson, V. Doyere, C.K. Cain and J.E. LeDoux (2007). Long-term
potentiation in the amygdala: a cellular mechanism of fear learning and
memory. Neuropharmacology 52(1):215-227.

Scientific focus :

Coordination of neural activity across brain regions is a fundamental principle of brain function. The main research focus of our group is to understand the mechanisms underlying neuronal coordination and how it
underlies cognitive processes such as working memory. We are also interested in understanding how disruption of neural coordination contributes to the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.

Methods
Electrophysiological recordings in freely behaving animals
Behavioral testing
Animal models of psychiatric illness
Analysis of neural activity and its coordination across brain regions

Cyril Herry du Neurocentre Magendie