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.
We propose that the neocortical populations have a constant "backbone" element to their sequence as well as a proportion of neurons with maleable timing. These stable and maleable aspects may have differential roles. The stable firing sequence may play a role in network homeostasis while the variable element may related to information "coding".
Why and how is the field of rodent ketamine research yielding such variable results. How can we interpret that variance?
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
With Kamran Diba's Lab:
How neuronal activity changes during sleep and wake: An integrative and statistically-controlled re-analysis of data from neocortex and hippocampus
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