Lecture: Cellular mechanisms of brain state-dependent gain modulation in visual cortex

from: 2014, 24 Mar - 18:15

Peyman Golshani, MD/PhD, Department of Neurology
David Geffen School of Medicine. UCLA
Neurologist, WLAVA Medical Center



Our level of vigilance

fluctuates during wakefulness. We may daydream one minute and the next

minute we may be intensely focused on a task. How different levels of

arousal control the sensitivity of the cerebral cortex to sensory input

is still not understood. By directly performing whole-cell intracellular

recordings from visual cortical neurons, we have shown that as mice

transition from resting to running, the membrane potential of visual

cortical neurons becomes more depolarized and less variable, increasing

the responsiveness of these neurons to visual stimulation. This allows

the signal communicated by visual cortical neurons to stand out from the

noisy internally generated activity of the brain. We also showed that

norepinephrine release in the visual cortex is essential for shifting

the visual cortex into this activated state. These results have

important implications for disorders where attention and alertness are


Location: MPI lecture hall
  • Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience
  • Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics