Neural Dynamics Laboratory

Equipment/facility: Facility

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    Neurons and the circuits they form produce electrical activity in a complex way that cannot be understood simply on the basis of a synaptic wiring diagram. Neuronal signaling is shaped by a multitude of nonlinear dynamic properties that operate on multiple time scales. The gating properties of ion channels, short-term synaptic plasticity, neuromodulation, as well as long-term regulatory mechanisms, all contribute to activity- and time-dependent changes in excitability. The Neural Dynamics Laboratory uses various electrophysiological techniques, such as extra- and intracellular recording and voltage clamps, molecular biology, confocal microscopy, computational modeling and dynamical systems mathematical approaches to characterize these phenomena. We also perform cell ablations and have pioneered the use of realistic voltage waveforms in the measurement of ion channel and synaptic currents. We use both experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neurophysiology of the stomatogastric ganglion, a small central-pattern-generating (CPG) circuit in lobsters and crabs. CPGs are neuronal networks in the central nervous system that generate the basic patterned electrical activity underlying most rhythmic behaviors like walking and breathing in all of the crustacean nervous system to uncover fundamental principles that govern neural processing across all animal and human nervous systems.animals. We take advantage of the experimental accessibility

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