of Basic Medical Sciences
Laboratory of Sensory Physiology
Despite synaptic depression at the retinogeniculate relay, pronounced temporal summation of NMDA-R mediated EPSPs occurs during train-stimulation of afferents (Augustinaite & Heggelund, J Physiol 584: 297-315, 2007).
Quantal size at retinogeniculate synapses on thalamacortical neurons (Paulsen & Heggelund, J Physiol 480: 505-511, 1994).
study basic mechanisms of
sensory processing in the brain with major emphasis on neurobiology of
vision. Over many years we were engaged in neurophysiological studies
of cortex. At present the activity is concentrated on thalamocortical
interaction and signal processing in relay nuclei of the dorsal
thalamus, using dLGN as model system. The focus is on basic mechanisms
of synaptic transmission, and cellular integration of synaptic input.
The primary objective is to unravel mechanisms through which thalamic
nuclei preprocess, synchronize and regulate the input to cerebral
cortex. Abnormal thalamic activity can give serious pathological
conditions (e.g. epilepsy, chronic pain states, tremor in Parkinson
patients, amnesia, attention deficits, sleep disorders). In
this connection we study mechanisms related to epilepsy.
Thalamic relay nuclei perform complex integrative functions in a two-way dialogue with cortex and control the major gateways to cortex in different ways depending on behavioral states (e.g. sleep/awake, attentive/drowsy). Important elements in this regulation are thalamic inhibitory (GABAergic) neurons. However, today relatively little is known about their functions. A major challenge for our current research is to unravel functional properties of these inhibitory neurons, and how their cellular properties and patterns of inhibition are modulated through input from state-related brainstem nuclei, and through input from cortex.
Group leaderProfessor Paul Heggelund
Department of Physiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
University of Oslo
PO Box 1103 Blindern
Tel: +47 22851289, Fax: +47 22851249, E-mail: email@example.com