Function and Mechanisms of activity-dependent Neuromodulation
Neurons are perfectly tuned to congregate biologically relevant information from synaptic inputs. This process is under permanent activity-dependent control mediated by neuromodulators, which can temporarily sway the neural processing by changing the properties of the membrane receptors, transporters and ion channels involved in synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. Our laboratory is interested in how ambient sensory stimulation activates neuromodulators and how these then influence the processing of relevant information.
We use the mammalian auditory system as a model and apply a variety of electrophysiological (single cell in vivo and patch clamp in brain slices), anatomical and optogentic techniques to study how hyper- or hypo stimulation lead to acquisition/loss of function. We hope that knowing more about these mechanisms will reveal new targets for the treatment of functional disorders of neuronal excitability.
I am grateful to several funding agencies who have supported my work. more