THEMATIC AREA B

THEMATIC AREA B: MULTI-SITE INTERACTIONS DURING DEVELOPMENT, PLASTICITY AND LEARNING

Projects in thematic area B focus on changes of network interactions ensuing from alterations in brain development. Moreover, projects in this thematic area address multi-site communication in networks underlying memory and learning. Projects B1 and B2 investigate sensorimotor and multisensory interactions in sighted and blind humans. Projects B3 and B4 investigate the potential role of oscillatory activity and coherence in memory-related circuits. Project B5 has a developmental focus, studying abnormal patterns of functional coupling in neonatal animals as a basis for cognitive and behavioural disturbances. The focus of project B6 is on modelling of developmental plasticity and compensatory plasticity after network lesions.
Project B1: Tactile-visual interactions for saccade planning during free viewing and their modulation by TMS
Prof. Dr. Peter König
Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück
Prof. Dr. Brigitte Röder
Biopsychology and Neuropsychology, University of Hamburg

The network mechanisms involved in the spatial integration of tactile information into saccade planning and in the required coordinate transformations from skin-centered to eye-centered reference frames are investigated using EEG-based connectivity measures. We hypothesize that spatial integration relies on interareal coupling and not on local processing. We test this by perturbing the identified network using repetitive TMS. EEG and TMS results will be modeled on a mesoscopic scale based on a subgraph of the human connectome.
Project B5: Optogenetic dissection of the cellular substrate of schizophrenia-related deficits in developing prefrontal-hippocampal networks
Prof. Dr. Ileana Hanganu-Opatz
Dept. of Neuroanatomy, UKE  

In the absence of major anatomical deficits, abnormal information processing and disturbed multi-site communication between brain regions seem to represent an important pathophysiological mechanism underlying neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia. During the first funding period, we showed that the functional communication within prefrontal-hippocampal networks is disturbed already during the early development when genetic and environmental factors converge. Using optogenetics and electrophysiology the present proposal aims at identifying the cellular elements underlying the early network dysfunction.
Project B7: Emergence and plasticity of architectures underlying multi-site communication 
Dr. Fabio Morellini
Behavioral Biology Unit, ZMNH, UKE
Prof. Dr. Thomas Oertner
Dept. of Synaptic Physiology, ZMNH, UKE  

We will use optogenetic intervention during formation and recall of spatial memories to investigate the generation of cognitive maps and the overlap between engrams of specific spatial positions. Using activity-dependent expression of light-gated chloride channels, we will determine how multiple positions in a single environment are encoded. We will investigate how entorhinal cortex, dentate gyrus and CA1 interact when spatial memories are retrieved, updated during spatial reversal learning, and consolidated during sleep.
Share by: