Seminários em Neurociências 2011.1

Segunda-feira 28/03/2011 10:50h Sala 4 – Escola de Ciência e Tecnologia


Detecting neuronal assemblies

Vítor dos Santos (Doutorando, Programa de PG em Neurociência, UFRN)

In 1949, Donald Hebb postulated that assemblies of synchronously activated neurons are the elementary units of information processing in the brain. Despite being one of the most influential theories in neuroscience, Hebb’s cell assembly hypothesis only started to become testable in the past two decades, after the development of technology for the simultaneous recording of large neuronal populations. Here we propose a new method capable of (1) identifying all the cell assemblies present in the neuronal population, (2) specifying the precise identity of the neurons pertaining to each cell assembly; and (3) revealing the activity time course of individual assemblies with single bin resolution. We use simulated data in order to validate our framework and discuss its improvements in relation to previously described methodologies. Application of the method to multi-electrode recordings of awake and behaving rats revealed that assemblies detected can be composed by neurons from multiple brain areas, and that neurons can participate in more than one assembly. Further, we show that subsets of spatially distant neurons transiently synchronize their firing during contacts with specific objects in freely behaving rats.

Notícia cadastrada em: 25/03/2011 10:37
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