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Harald Luksch (Chair of Zoology, Technical University of Munich, Germany)

"The avian midbrain: Cells, Circuits, Concepts" / Thursday, March 4, 2010, 17:15 h
When Mar 04, 2010
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Lecture Hall, Hansastr. 9a
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The Bernstein Center Freiburg

Bernstein Seminar
Harald Luksch
Chair of Zoology
Technische Universität München

The avian midbrain:
Cells, Circuits, Concepts

Thursday, March 4, 2010

17:15 h

Lecture Hall (ground floor)
BCCN building
Hansastraße 9A
79104 Freiburg
The avian visual midbrain (optic tectum) is a model system for the analysis of developmental, physiological and computational issues. With a high degree of structural order, known inputs and function and identifiable cell types, the network analysis with a combined experimental-computational approach can lead to a mechanistic understanding of sensory computation. By integrating additional tectal cell types and projections with other visual and non-visual nuclei in the brain, the basic neuronal computations can be gradually extended to generate more complex functions.

While the focus of research in the past was on the processing of visual input, we have recently begun to study feedback loops between the optic tectum and the isthmic nuclei in the chick. Since many elements of that reciprocal connection are preserved in a slice preparation, we can study the circuit in vitro and build a realistic model to assess the influence of specific network parameters. We have also started to look at timing issues with optical imaging methods.

In addition, we will investigate the integration of auditory and visual input on the cellular level. Starting with the delineation of the cells involved in bimodal processing, we will attempt to work out the synaptic mechanisms and the integration rules for bimodal stimuli and study the influence of feedback on these features.
The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!


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