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Hungary : The role of the basal forebrain in attention and learning.

Start date: 2013-01-01

End date: 2015-12-31

Project cost: 253191 EURO (337022.54 US Dollar)

Project Funding Project Funding reflects the overall financial analysis and entails the analysis that is needed in order to get the financial means approved and funds made available to be able to perform the discipline of project management. : 253191 EURO (337022.54 US Dollar)

Duration: 36 months

The basal forebrain (BF) constitutes a major neuromodulatory center, providing extensive projections to the entire forebrain, including all of cortex. Mounting evidence demonstrates that these projections play a key role in cognitive functions, including learning and attention. Damage or deterioration of BF in humans leads to severe cognitive impairments, such as dementia and executive dysfunction. Given the association of BF with higher cognitive functions and a host of disease states, surprisingly little is known about how it accomplishes these intricate tasks. This is largely due to technical challenges because BF neurons expressing the neuromodulatory transmitter acetylcholine acetylcholine (əsēt'əlkō`lēn), a small organic molecule liberated at nerve endings as a neurotransmitter. It is particularly important in the stimulation of muscle tissue.  are intermingled with a parallel inhibitory (GABAergic) projection system within a confined anatomical area and traditional techniques do not allow separating these two projection systems in behaving animals.

The Kepecs group at CSHL CSHL Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL Cleveland Suburban Hockey League
CSHL Central States Hockey League
 have two techniques that are uniquely suitable to tackle this challenge. First, they successfully adapted the quantitative psychophysical methods Psychophysical methods

Methods for the quantitative study of the relations between physical stimulus magnitudes and the corresponding magnitudes of sensation, for example, between the physical intensity of a light and its perceived brightness or the
 of primate neuroscience neu·ro·sci·ence
n.
Any of the sciences, such as neuroanatomy and neurobiology, that deal with the nervous system.



neuroscience

the embryology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology of the nervous system.
 the current gold standard in research on the neural mechanisms of cognition for use in mice, enabling us to employ molecular-genetic tools. Second, they developed an optogenetic tagging technique to selectively record from and control genetically identified neurons.

With these methods I propose to study how different BF subsystems support sustained attention and spatial learning. I will record from identified BF neurons to establish the moment-to-moment correlation between neural activity and behavioural measures (e.g. reaction time). Gaining control over identified neurons at high temporal precision will also enable me to establish their necessity and sufficiency for behavioural functions on a trial-to-trial basis.

Learning and transferring these cutting-edge techniques to Hungary will benefit both my return host laboratory and enable me to transition to an independent researcher position.

country :Hungary

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 23, 2013
Words:319
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