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Age-related and cell-type specific neural information processing

In this proposal, we will test the hypothesis that auditory coding in the primary auditory cortex (A1) is changed with age in a cell-type-specific manner. We will specifically focus on one of major cortical cell groups, GABAergic inhibitory neurons, which are further classified into diverse subtypes.

Number of places

1

Opens

1 June 2017

Eligibility

2:1 UK Honours degree or overseas equivalent.

Project Details

The neocortex, including the auditory cortex, consists of highly diverse neuronal populations, with the anatomically prominent six-layered structure. Although different cortical layers and cell-classes encode auditory information differently, it still remains poorly understood how auditory coding across cortical layers is changed with age. In this proposal, we will test the hypothesis that auditory coding in the primary auditory cortex (A1) is changed with age in a cell-type-specific manner. We will specifically focus on one of major cortical cell groups, GABAergic inhibitory neurons, which are further classified into diverse subtypes. This is because the reduction of inhibitory neurotransmission has been observed throughout the ageing auditory pathway and has been implicated in the slowness of auditory processing in the ageing brain. Combining in vivo electrophysiological and optogenetic approaches in mice, this PhD project will concern how GABAergic contributions to auditory cortical computations are changed with age. This study will provide further insights into the mechanisms of the slowness in the ageing auditory system and the development of intervention strategies for the ageing auditory system.    

 

Techniques

 

in vivo electrophysiology

Optogenetics

Programming

Advanced statistical analysis

Supervisor

Dr Shuzo Sakata

Further information

References

 

1) Linden, J. F. & Schreiner, C. E. Cereb Cortex 13, 83-9 (2003).

2) Mountcastle, V. B. Brain 120, 701-22 (1997).

3) Harris, K. D. & Mrsic-Flogel, T. D. Nature 503, 51-8 (2013).

4) Sakata, S. & Harris, K. D. Front Neural Circuits 6, 109 (2012).

5) Sakata, S. & Harris, K.D. Neuron 64, 404-418 (2009).

6) Sakata, S. Sci Reports 6, 18873 (2016).

7) Ascoli, G. A. et al. Nat Rev Neurosci 9, 557-68 (2008).

8) Markram, H. et al. Nat Rev Neurosci 5, 793-807 (2004).

9) Rudy, B. et al. Dev Neurobiol 71, 45-61 (2011).

10) Canlon, B. et al. in The Aging Auditory System   (eds S. Gordon-Salant, R. D. Frisina, A. N. Popper, & R. R. Fay), 39-74 (Springer, 2010).

11) Caspary, D. M. et al. J Exp Biol 211, 1781-91 (2008).

12) Walton, J. P. et al. J Neurosci 18, 2764-76 (1998).

Contact us

How to apply

Applicants can apply by completing the online application form :https://ben.mis.strath.ac.uk/pguserprofile/control/enterDetailsPage