Faculty‎ > ‎

Michael Ariel, Ph.D.

Dr. Ariel investigates how the brain processes the visual sensation from the eyes and the sense of balance. The goal of this research is to understand how these two sensory inputs control eye movements that lead to the perception of a stable visual world. That stable visual image occurs even though we move our head or body through our environment. The experiments are performed on isolated neural tissues placed in a special chamber and exposed to natural sensory stimulation (rotation of the chamber or moving patterns of light). Electrophysiological and optical recordings are made from individual neurons in the brain stem and cerebellum. The results indicate that complex synaptic interactions occur between the different inputs to the vertebrate brain stem.

Ph.D. Neuroscience; Washington University, 1980

Email arielm@slu.edu

  • Cerebellar afferent integration studied in vitro
    N.I.H. Individual Research
    Grant, R01 NS 04604499, Saint Louis University, 2004-2010
  • Processing of Bilateral Inputs to Vestibular Nucleus
    N.I.H. Individual Research 
    Grant, R01 DC 03894, Saint Louis University, 2000-2003
  • Convergence of excitatory and inhibitory visual inputs onto single neurons
    N.S.F. IBN 9974891, Saint Louis University, 1999-2002
  • Directionally sensitive input to oculomotor pathways
    N.I.H. Grant R01 EY05978
  • Synaptic integration of sensory afferents in brainstem,
    N.I.H. Grant R01 NS33190
  • Research Associate 
    Schepens Eye Research Institute
    Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
    Harvard University,
  • Assistant Professor 
    Department of Neuroscience
    University of Pittsburgh
  • Assistant Professor 
    Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, 
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 
  • Associate Professor 
    Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, 
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine,
  • Visiting Professor 
    (sabbatical leave with Dr. Y. Yarom)
    Neurobiology Department
    Hebrew University
    Jerusalem, Israel
    2000-2001, 2009-2010
  • Professor 
    Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, 
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine,
  • Professor
    Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine,
  • Professor (secondary) 
    Anatomy (Department of Surgery), 
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine,
  • Professor (secondary) 
    Department of Ophthalmology
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine,

Sandberg, M.A., Berson, E.L. & Ariel, M. (1977). Visually evoked response testing with a stimulator ophthalmoscope. Archives of Ophthalmology 95, 1805 1808.

Sandberg, M.A. & Ariel, M. (1977). A Hand held two channel stimulator ophthalmoscope.Archives of Ophthalmology 95, 1881 1882.

Daw, N.W., Berman, N.E.J. & Ariel, M. (1978). Interaction of critical periods in the visual cortex of kittens. Science 199, 566 567.

Daw, N.W. & Ariel, M. (1980). Properties of monocular and directional deprivation. J. Neurophysiol. 44, 280 294.

Daw, N.W. & Ariel, M. (1981). Effects of synaptic transmitter drugs on receptive fields of rabbit retinal ganglion cells. Vision Res. 21, 1643 1647.

Daw, N.W., Ariel, M. & Caldwell, J.H. (1982). Function of neurotransmitters in the retina. Retina 2, 322 331.

Ariel, M. & Daw, N.W. (1982). Effects of cholinergic drugs on the receptive field properties of rabbit retinal ganglion cells. J. Physiol. 324, 135 160. PMID 7097593;

Ariel, M. & Daw, N.W. (1982). Pharmacological analysis of directionally sensitive rabbit retinal ganglion cells. J. Physiol. 324, 161 185. PMID 7097594;

Daw, N.W., Rader, R.K., Robertson, T.W. & Ariel, M. (1983). Effects of 6 hydroxy-dopamine on visual deprivation in the kitten striate cortex. J. Neurosci. 3, 907 914.

Ariel, M., Daw, N.W. & Rader, R.K. (1983). Rhythmicity in rabbit retinal ganglion cell responses. Vision Res. 23, 1485-1493.

Ariel, M., Lasater, E.M., Mangel, S.C. & Dowling, J.E. (1984). On the sensitivity of H1 horizontal cells of the carp retina to glutamate, aspartate and their agonists. Brain Res. 295, 179 183.

Ariel, M. & Adolph, A.R. (1985). Neurotransmitter inputs to directionally sensitive turtle retinal ganglion cells. J Neurophysiol. 54; 1123-1143.

Mangel, S.C., Ariel, M., & Dowling, J.E. (1985). Effects of acidic amino acid antagonists upon the spectral properties of carp horizontal cells: circuitry of the outer retina. J Neurosci. 5, 2839 2850.

Ariel, M., Mangel, S.C. & Dowling, J.E. (1986). N Methyl D aspartate acts as an antagonist to the photoreceptor transmitter in the carp retina. Brain Res. 372, 143-148.

Marshak, D., Ariel, M. & Brown, E. (1988). Distribution of synaptic inputs onto goldfish retinal ganglion cell dendrites. Exp. Eye Res. 46, 965-978.

Knapp, A.G., Ariel, M. & Robinson, F.R. (1988). Analysis of vertebrate eye movements following intravitreal drug injections. 1. Blockade of retinal ON cells by 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate eliminates optokinetic nystagmus. J. Neurophysiol. 60, 1010-1021. PMID 3171653 Ariel, M., Robinson, F.R. & Knapp, A.G. (1988). Analysis of vertebrate eye movements following intravitreal drug injections. 2. Spontaneous nystagmus induced by picrotoxin is mediated subcortically. J. Neurophysiol. 60, 1022-1035.

Mangel, S.C., Ariel, M. & Dowling, J.E. (1989). D-aspartate potentiates the effects of both L-aspartate and L-glutamate on carp horizontal cells. Neuroscience 32, 19-26.

Ariel, M. (1989). Analysis of vertebrate eye movements following intravitreal drug injections. 3. Spontaneous nystagmus is modulated by the GABAa receptor. J. Neurophysiol. 62, 469-480.

Ariel, M. (1990). Independent eye movements of the turtle. Visual Neurosci. 5, 29-41.

Schuerger, R.J., Rosenberg, A.F. & Ariel, M. (1990). Retinal direction-sensitive input to the accessory optic system: an in vitro approach with behavioral relevance. Brain Res. 522, 161-164.

Grasse, K.L., Ariel, M. & Smith, I. (1990). Direction-selective responses of units in the dorsal terminal nucleus of cat following intravitreal injections of bicuculline. Visual Neurosci. 4, 605-617.

Rosenberg, A.F. & Ariel, M. (1990). Visual response properties of the turtle's basal optic nucleus in vitro. J. Neurophysiol. 63, 1033-1045.

Ariel, M. & Rosenberg, A.F. (1991). Effects of synaptic drugs on turtle optokinetic nystagmus and the spike responses of the basal optic nucleus. Visual Neurosci. 7, 431-440. PMID 1764413 Ariel, M. (1991). Analysis of vertebrate eye movements following intravitreal drug injections. 4. Drug induced eye movements are unyoked in the turtle. J. Neurophysiol. 65, 1003-1009.

Rosenberg, A.F. & Ariel, M. (1991). Electrophysiological evidence of a direct projection from direction-sensitive retinal ganglion cells to the turtle's accessory optic system. J. Neurophysiol. 65, 1022-1033.

Balaban, C.D. & Ariel, M. (1992). A "beat-to-beat" interval generator for optokinetic nystagmus. Biol. Cybernetics 66, 203-216.

Ariel, M. & Tusa, R.J. (1992). Spontaneous nystagmus and gaze-holding in monkeys after intravitreal picrotoxin injections. J. Neurophysiol. 67, 1124-1132. PMID 1597702

Amamoto, D.Y. & Ariel, M. (1993). A low cost VGA-based visual stimulus generation and control system. J. Neurosci. Methods. 46, 147-157.

Fan, T.X., Rosenberg, A.F. & Ariel, M. (1993). Visual response properties of units in the turtle cerebellar granular layer in vitro. J. Neurophysiol. 69, 1314-1322.

Ariel, M. & Fan, T.X. (1993). Electrophysiological evidence for a bisynaptic retinocerebellar pathway. J. Neurophysiol. 69, 1323-1330.

Fan, T.X., Weber, A.E., Pickard, G.E., Faber, K.M. & Ariel, M. (1995). Visual responses and connectivity in the turtle pretectum. J. Neurophysiol. 73, 2507-2521.

Rosenberg, A.F. & Ariel, M. (1996). Open-loop optokinetic responses of the turtle. Vision Res. 37, 925-933.

Fan, T.X., Scudder C.A. & Ariel, M. (1997). Neuronal responses to turtle head rotation in vitro. J. Neurobio. 33, 99-117.

Kogo, N. & Ariel, M. (1997). Membrane properties and monosynaptic retinal excitation of neurons in the turtle accessory optic system. J. Neurophysiol. 78, 614-627.

Kogo, N., Rubio, D.M. & Ariel, M. (1998). Direction-tuning of individual retinal inputs to the turtle accessory optic system. J. Neurosci. 18, 2673-2684.

Martin, J., Kogo, N. & Ariel, M. (1998). Morphology of basal optic tract terminals in the turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans. J. Comp. Neurol. 393, 267-283.

Rosenberg, A.F. & Ariel, M. (1998). Analysis of direction-tuning curves of neurons in the turtle's accessory optic system. Exp. Brain Res. 121, 361-370.

Kogo, N. & Ariel, M. (1999). Response attenuation during coincident afferent excitatory inputs. J. Neurophysiol. 81, 2945-2955.

Ariel, M. & Kogo, N. (2001). Direction-tuning of inhibitory inputs to the turtle accessory optic system. J. Neurophysiol. 86, 2919-2930.

Kogo, N., Fan, T.X. & Ariel, M. (2002). Synaptic pharmacology in the turtle accessory optic system. Exp. Brain Res. 147, 464-472.

Weber, A., Martin, J. & Ariel, M. (2003). Connectivity of the turtle accessory optic system. Brain Res. 989:76-90.

Ariel, M., Fan, T.X. & Jones, M.S. (2003). Bilateral processing of vestibular responses revealed by injecting lidocaine into the eighth cranial nerve in vitro. Brain Res. 999:106-117.

Martin, J., Kogo, N., Fan, T.X., Ariel, M. (2003). Morphology of the turtle accessory optic system. Visual Neurosci. 20:639-649.

Tolbert, D.L., Conoyer, B. & Ariel, M. (2004). Quantitative analysis of granule cell axons and climbing fiber afferents in the turtle cerebellar cortex. Anatomy and Embryology, 209:49-58.

Ariel, M. (2005). Latencies of climbing fiber inputs to turtle cerebellar cortex. J. Neurophysiol. 93:1042-1054.

Ariel, M. & Kogo, N. (2005). Shunting inhibition in accessory optic system neurons. J. Neurophysiol. 93:1959-1969.

Martin, J. & Ariel, M. (2005). Localization of GABA markers in the turtle's basal optic nucleus. J. Neurophysiol. 93:1959-1969.

Ariel, M. (2006). Modulation of visual inputs to accessory optic system by theophylline during hypoxia. Exp. Brain Res. 172(3):351-360.

Jones, M.S & Ariel, M. (2006). The effects of unilateral eighth nerve block on fictive VOR in the turtle. Brain Res. 1094:149-162.

Ariel, M. & Johny, M.B. (2007). Analysis of quantal size of voltage responses to retinal stimulation in the accessory optic system. Brain Res. 1157: 41-55.

Jones, M.S & Ariel, M. (2008). Morphology, intrinsic membrane properties, and rotation-evoked responses of trochlear motoneurons in the turtle. J. Neurophysiol. 99, 1187-1200.

Brown, M.E. & Ariel, M. (2009). Topography and response timing of intact cerebellum stained with absorbance voltage-sensitive dye. J. Neurophysiol. 101, 474-490.

Ariel, M. Ward, K.C. & Tolbert, D.L. (2009). Topography of Purkinje cells and other calbindin-immunoreactive cells within adult and hatchling turtle cerebellum. Cerebellum, 8, 463-476.

Ariel, M. & Brown, M. (2010). Origin and Timing of Voltage-Sensitive Dye Signals within layers of the Turtle Cerebellar Cortex, Brain Res. 1357, 26-40. PMCID: 20707989

Saha, D., Morton, D., Ariel, M. & Wessel, R. (2010). Response properties of visual neurons in the turtle nucleus isthmi. J. Comp. Physiol. A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol., 197, 153-165.

Brown, M.E., Martin, J.R., Rosenbluth, J. & Ariel, M. (2011). A novel path for rapid transverse communication of vestibular signals in turtle cerebellum. J. Neurophysiol. 105, 1071-1088.

Dearworth, J.R. Jr, Ashworth, A.L., Kaye, J.M., Bednarz, D.T., Blaum, J.F., Vacca, J.M., McNeish, J.E., Higgins, K.A., Michael, C.L., Skrobola, M.G., Jones, M.S. & Ariel, M. (2013). Role of trochlear nerve in eye abduction and frontal vision of the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Journal of Comparative Neurology, 3464-3477.

Panneton, W.M., Gan, Q. & Ariel, M. (2015). Injections of algesic solutions into muscle activate the lateral reticular formation: a Nociceptive relay of the spinoreticulothalamic tract. PLoS ONE 10(7) e0130939.

Crockett, T.A., Wright, N.C., Thornquist, S., Ariel, M. & Wessel, R. (2015). Turtle dorsal cortex pyramidal neurons comprise two distinct cell types with indistinguishable visual responses. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0144012.

Daly, D.T. & Ariel, M. (2018). A novel cerebellar commissure and other myelinated axons in the Purkinje cell layer of a pond turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Journal of Comparative Neurology, in press.