Printer Friendly

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: 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 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 have two techniques that are uniquely suitable to tackle this challenge. First, they successfully adapted the quantitative psychophysical methods of primate neuroscience 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

2012 Al Bawaba (

Provided by an company
COPYRIGHT 2013 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 23, 2013
Previous Article:United Kingdom : Precise Parameter Estimation of Gravitational Waves Sources of Low and Medium Frequencies.
Next Article:Germany : Visible-Light Active Metal Oxide Nano-catalysts for Sustainable Solar Hydrogen Production.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters