Watson Lab

Cortical circuits and Psychiatry

Brendon Watson M.D., Ph.D.

University of Michigan

Focus: Brain and cortical network dynamics

Basic function in normal brain and role in psychiatric disease

We use electrophysiology and optogenetics to observe and manipulate dozens of neurons simultaneously in both head-fixed and freely-behaving rodents in order to answer questions aimed both at fundamental neurobiological understanding of the cortical states and dynamics as well as the role of cortex in disease.

We use an approach informed by an understanding of neuronal microcircuit dynamics, macrocircuit connectivity and organism-level behavior to connect between the level of single neurons, networks of those neurons and animal behavior.

See further details in Research section.

Recent work

Antidepressant dose ketamine: Differential effects in stressed versus unstressed mice.

Only stressed mice show antidepressant-like response to ketamine. Unestressed ones actually show an opposite response. See Paul Fitzgerald and Jessica Yen's paper here: Link

An improved and integrative re-analysis of sleep-wake firing rate dynamics in hippocampus and neocortex

Might gamma oscillations be biomarkers for depression? What is the current state of the field in both patients and rodent models.

How field potential oscillations and neuronal firing rates are correlated time in the frontal cortex in rodent recordings.

Review article putting forward novel ideas about the role of learning rules in sculpting activity of cortical neuronal populations over wake-sleep cycles

Cortical neuronal firing rates are dynamically modulated over sleep wake cycles without novel learning tasks.