New Research Article – Thalamic state control of cortical paired-pulse dynamics

In this research article, Whitmire and colleagues have been able to utilize optogenetic modulation of thalamic firing modes combined with optical imaging of cortex in the rat vibrissa system to directly test the role of thalamic state in shaping cortical response properties.
Abstract:
Sensory stimulation drives complex interactions across neural circuits as information is encoded and then transmitted from one brain region to the next. In the highly interconnected thalamocortical circuit, these complex interactions elicit repeatable neural dynamics in response to temporal patterns of stimuli that provide insight into the circuit properties that generated them. Here, using a combination of in-vivo voltage sensitive dye (VSD) imaging of cortex, single unit recording in thalamus, and optogenetics to manipulate thalamic state in the rodent vibrissa pathway, we probed the thalamocortical circuit with simple temporal patterns of stimuli delivered either to the whiskers on the face (sensory stimulation) or to the thalamus directly via electrical or optogenetic inputs (artificial stimulation). VSD imaging of cortex in response to whisker stimulation revealed classical suppressive dynamics, while artificial stimulation of thalamus produced an additional facilitation dynamic in cortex not observed with sensory stimulation. Thalamic neurons showed enhanced bursting activity in response to artificial stimulation, suggesting that bursting dynamics may underlie the facilitation mechanism we observed in cortex. To test this experimentally, we directly depolarized the thalamus using optogenetic modulation of the firing activity to shift from a burst to a tonic mode. In the optogenetically depolarized thalamic state, the cortical facilitation dynamic was completely abolished. Taken together, the results obtained here from simple probes suggest that thalamic state, and ultimately thalamic bursting, may play a key role in shaping more complex stimulus-evoked dynamics in the thalamocortical pathway.

Thalamic state control of cortical paired-pulse dynamics. Clarissa J Whitmire, Daniel C Millard, Garrett B. Stanley. PDF

Clarissa Whitmire gives invited talk at Yerkes Research Symposium

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Clarissa gives keynote student lecture at Yerkes Research Symposium where she received her Stuart Zola graduate fellowship award.

See previous article: http://stanley.gatech.edu/2016/07/clarissa-whitmire-awarded-the-2016-stuart-zola-graduate-fellowship-in-neuroscience/

SFN 2016 Poster Presentations

Sunday Nov 13th 2016

8am-12pm

FF14 149.12 – The role of VPm thalamus in whisker related tactile perception
*C. WAIBLINGER1,2,3, C. J. WHITMIRE1, A. J. SEDERBERG1, G. B. STANLEY1, C. SCHWARZ2,3;
1Wallace H Coulter Dept. of Biomed. Engin., Georgia Tech. and Emory, Atlanta, GA; 2Systems Neurophysiol., Werner Reichardt Ctr. for Integrative Neurosci., Tübingen, Germany; 3Dept. of Cognitive Neurol., Hertie Inst. for Clin. Brain Res., Tübingen, Germany
FF15 149.13 – Thalamic control of cortical sensory representations.
*P. Y. BORDEN1, A. D. ORTIZ1, A. J. SEDERBERG1, A. E. MORRISSETTE2, C. WAIBLINGER1, D. JAEGER2, G. B. STANLEY1;
1Georgia Tech., Atlanta, GA; 2Neurosci., Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA
FF16 149.14 – State-dependent encoding in the thalamocortical circuit. Modeling feature selectivity in different optogenetically induced thalamic states
*C. WHITMIRE1, C. WAIBLINGER1, Y. LIEW1, C. SCHWARZ2, G. B. STANLEY1;
1Wallace H Coulter Dept. of Biomedial Engin., Georgia Tech/Emory, Atlanta, GA; 2Dept. of Cognitive Neurology, Hertie Inst. for Clin. Brain Res., Univ. of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
FF17 149.15 – Brain state and spatiotemporal representations of tactile stimuli in sensory cortex explored with genetically expressed voltage-sensor imaging
*A. J. SEDERBERG1, H. J. V. ZHENG1,2, B. J. HE3, G. B. STANLEY1;
1Wallace H Coulter Dept. of Biomed. Engin., Georgia Inst. of Technol. & Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA; 2Max Planck Florida Inst., Jupiter, FL; 3Departments of Neurology, Neurosci. and Physiology, and Radiology, Neurosci. Institute, New York Univ. Langone Med. Ctr., New York, NY

 

Monday Nov 14th 2016

1pm-5pm

NN2 429.09 – Closed loop optogenetic control of neural circuits In vivo: Developing design principles for controlling patterns of neural firing rate
*M. F. BOLUS1, A. A. WILLATS1, C. J. WHITMIRE1, Z. COSTELLO2, M. B. EGERSTEDT2, C. J. ROZELL1,2, G. B. STANLEY1;
1Wallace H Coulter Dept. of Biomed. Engin., Georgia Inst. of Technol. & Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA; 2Sch. of Electrical & Computer Engin., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA
NN1 429.08 – Understanding optogenetic stimulation strategies: a study of opsin-neuron models and their spiking behaviors
*A. WILLATS;
Georgia Inst. of Technol. & Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA

 

Wednesday Nov 16th 2016

8am-12pm

SS7 720.09 – Behavioral changes and voltage imaging of cortical activity in a forced choice licking task using optogenetic inhibition of basal ganglia output in mice
*A. MORRISSETTE1, P.-H. CHEN1, P. Y. BORDEN2, G. B. STANLEY2, D. JAEGER1;
1Biol., Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA; 2Biomed. Engin., Georgia Tech., Atlanta, GA
MMM22 752.02 – Low access resistance subcortical whole cell recordings In vivo
*W. STOY1, Y. J. LIEW1, B. YANG2, C. J. WHITMIRE1, A. PALA1, C. CAPOCASALE2, T. LEE2, A. ORTIZ1, P. Y. BORDEN1, G. B. STANLEY1, C. R. FOREST2,1;
1Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomed. Engin., 2George W. Woodruff Sch. of Mechanical Engin., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA
MMM23 752.03 – Rapid cortical barrel mapping using automated multi-whisker stimulation and intrinsic optical signal imaging
*T. LEE1, C. M. CAPOCASALE1, P. Y. BORDEN2, W. STOY2, C. J. WHITMIRE2, Y. LIEW2, A. PALA2, A. D. ORTIZ2, B. YANG1, G. B. STANLEY2, C. R. FOREST1;
1George W. Woodruff Sch. of Mechanical Engin., 2Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomed. Engin., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA
MMM24 752.04 – Experimental and analytical approaches for multi-site electrophysiology in the topographically aligned thalamocortical circuit
*Y. LIEW1, C. J. WHITMIRE1, W. A. STOY1, A. PALA1, A. SEDERBERG1, A. D. ORTIZ1, P. Y. BORDEN1, B. YANG2, C. M. CAPOCASALE2, T. LEE2, C. R. FOREST2, G. B. STANLEY1;
1Wallace H Coulter Dept. of Biomed. Engin., 2George W Woodruff Sch. of Mechanical Engin., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA

 

New Perspective Article – Rapid Sensory Adaptation Redux: A Circuit Perspective

F1_Infographic_vsubmitIn this Perspective, Whitmire and Stanley build links between rapid sensory adaptation at multiple scales of neural circuitry through investigations of differential adaptation effects across brain structures, cell types, and functional classes of neurons.
Abstract: Adaptation is fundamental to life. All organisms adapt over timescales that span from evolution to generations and lifetimes to moment-by-moment interactions. The nervous system is particularly adept at rapidly adapting to change, and this in fact may be one of its fundamental principles of organization and function.  Rapid forms of sensory adaptation have been well-documented across all sensory modalities in a wide range of organisms, yet we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the adaptive cellular mechanisms that ultimately give rise to the corresponding percepts due in part to the complexity of the circuitry.  In this Perspective, we aim to build links between adaptation at multiple scales of neural circuitry by investigating the differential adaptation across brain regions and sub-regions and across specific cell-types, for which the explosion of modern tools has just begun to enable.  This investigation points to a set of challenges for the field to link functional observations to adaptive properties of the neural circuit that ultimately underlie percepts.

High School Student Richard Carnegie Does Summer Internship

img_6311Richard Carnegie, now a junior in high school, reached out to our laboratory last spring when he became interested in neuro-engineering. While working with us in the summer of 2016, he learned to design parts and build them with a 3-D printer, design and conduct his own experiments using equipment from Backyard Brains, and writing his own data analysis code in Python. Our lab thinks his future looks bright and are looking forward to seeing him work with us more in the future.