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Heiko Luhmann, University Medical Center Mainz: How electrical activity shapes the neonatal brain

Institute of Physiology, University Medical Center Mainz
When Nov 10, 2020
from 05:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID and password will be sent with e-mail invitation.
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At surprisingly early stages developing neuronal networks show spontaneous synchronized discharges. From EEG recordings in preterm human infants we know that so-called delta brush (spindle burst) activity can be already observed before the cerebral cortex has gained its typical six-layered structure. At this stage, a transient layer below the developing cortical plate, the so-called subplate, plays a pivotal role in the generation of early network activity and in the formation of thalamocortical and cortical networks (see recent review by Molnár, Luhmann, Kanold, Science 370, 16 October 2020). Since the cerebral cortex of rodents resembles in its structure the cortex of a preterm human infant, rodents are appropriate models to study the early development of cortical networks. Furthermore, spontaneous and evoked neuronal activity recorded with EEG in preterms share many similarities with the activity recorded with imaging and multi-electrode array techniques in newborn rodents.

After giving a comparative overview into the early anatomical and physiological development of the cerebral cortex in humans and rodents, the following questions will be addressed in the online presentation: (i) What types of spontaneous and sensory evoked activity patterns can be recorded in the neocortex of newborn rodents? (ii) How is this early activity generated? (iii) What is the functional role of this early activity in shaping the developing cortical network and in controlling programmed cell death? (iv) What is the clinical relevance of these results obtained in rodents?

About the speaker and his research

Heiko Luhmann


Hosted by

Ulrich Egert 


Supported by

Carl Zeiss FoundationNeurexNeurex | InterNeuronEU Development FundEU Interreg


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