The primary goal of this project is to determine how acoustic signals are represented, processed, and transmitted in cortex. Signal processing depends on several variables including: 1) the membrane properties of neurons; 2) the patterns of anatomical connections between the many types of neurons in cortex; and 3) the dynamic properties of synaptic transmission. An in vitro slice preparation of the mouse auditory cortex will be used to examine how these variables affect signal processing in a small network of neurons. Simultaneous whole-cell recordings from 2-5 interconnected neurons, each of which can be identified visually. The experiments of Aim 1 will determine the patterns of connections between the pyramidal neurons and the different types of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in cortex and characterize the properties of synaptic transmission between each neuron. The experiments of Aim 2 will determine which of these cells are innervated by thalamic afferents, a major source of input into the auditory cortex. At the completion of these two sets of experiments, the circuitry that process signals will be determined. The link between the input neurons (those that receive thalamic afferents) and the output neurons (pyramidal neurons) will be established. The experiments in Aim 3 will then examine, using a novel iterative procedure, how computergenerated signals delivered to the thalamus affects the firing of successive neurons in circuit. These experiments will provide both basic information about circuitry as well as provide insights as to how auditory signals are processed in cortex. This information may elucidate mechanisms of deafness as well as lead to better designs of cochlear implants.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-6 (01))
Program Officer
Luethke, Lynn E
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New York University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New York
United States
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Barral, Jérémie; Reyes, Alex D (2017) Optogenetic Stimulation and Recording of Primary Cultured Neurons with Spatiotemporal Control. Bio Protoc 7:
Graupner, Michael; Wallisch, Pascal; Ostojic, Srdjan (2016) Natural Firing Patterns Imply Low Sensitivity of Synaptic Plasticity to Spike Timing Compared with Firing Rate. J Neurosci 36:11238-11258
Higgins, David; Graupner, Michael; Brunel, Nicolas (2014) Memory maintenance in synapses with calcium-based plasticity in the presence of background activity. PLoS Comput Biol 10:e1003834
Graupner, Michael; Reyes, Alex D (2013) Synaptic input correlations leading to membrane potential decorrelation of spontaneous activity in cortex. J Neurosci 33:15075-85
Oviedo, Hysell V; Reyes, Alex D (2012) Integration of subthreshold and suprathreshold excitatory barrages along the somatodendritic axis of pyramidal neurons. PLoS One 7:e33831
Graupner, Michael; Brunel, Nicolas (2012) Calcium-based plasticity model explains sensitivity of synaptic changes to spike pattern, rate, and dendritic location. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:3991-6
Schiff, Max L; Reyes, Alex D (2012) Characterization of thalamocortical responses of regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons of the mouse auditory cortex in vitro and in silico. J Neurophysiol 107:1476-88
Levy, Robert B; Reyes, Alex D (2012) Spatial profile of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connectivity in mouse primary auditory cortex. J Neurosci 32:5609-19
Levy, Robert B; Reyes, Alex D (2011) Coexistence of lateral and co-tuned inhibitory configurations in cortical networks. PLoS Comput Biol 7:e1002161
Reyes, Alex D (2011) Synaptic short-term plasticity in auditory cortical circuits. Hear Res 279:60-6

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