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Nikos K. Logothetis (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPIK), Tübingen, Germany)

"esfMRI: Signal Propagation and Studies of Connectivity" / Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 17:15 h
When May 03, 2011
from 05:15 PM to 07:20 PM
Where Lecture Hall, Hansastr. 9a
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The Bernstein Center Freiburg

Bernstein Seminar
Nikos K. Logothetis
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPIK)
Tübingen, Germany

esfMRI: Signal Propagation
and Studies of Connectivity

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

17:15 h

Lecture Hall (ground floor)
Bernstein Center Freiburg
Hansastraße 9A
79104 Freiburg
Electrical stimulation (ES) of the brain has been performed for over 100 years, and although some might say it is a crude technique for understanding the detailed mechanisms underlying different neural computations, microstimulation has made significant contributions to our knowledge in both basic and clinical research. Recently there has been resurgence in its use in the context of electrotherapy and neural prostheses. For example, ES has made it possible to at least partially restore hearing to deaf patients by delivering pulses via implanted electrodes to different regions of the cochlea. Stimulation of the basal ganglia is remarkably effective in restoring motor function to Parkinson´s patients, and microstimulation of the geniculostriate visual pathway is regarded by some as a very promising (future) method for making the blind see again.

Yet, the methodology still suffers from many fundamental problems; For example, we do not always know exactly what is being stimulated when we pass currents through the tissue; Neither do we know how electrically induced signals propagate in cortex. Moreover stimulation causes activation in a large number of areas even outside the stimulation site, making it difficult to isolate and evaluate the behavioral effects of the stimulated area itself.

Microstimulation combined with fMRI (esfMRI) could − in principle − provide a unique opportunity to gain insights into global signal-propagation, to visualize the networks underlying electrostimulation-induced behaviors, to map neuromodulatory systems, or to develop electrotherapy and neural prosthetic devices. In addition, esfMRI is an excellent tool for the study of the effects of regional synaptic plasticity, e.g. LTP in hippocampus, on dynamic network connectivity. Last but not least, esfMRI can offer important insights into the functional neurovascular coupling. In my talk, I shall discuss findings from recent and on-going work on signal propagation during electrical stimulation in monkeys, as well as data related to effective connectivity in rats and monkeys.
The talk is open to the public. Guests are cordially invited!


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