Probing Synaptic Interactions during Sensory Processing in Deep Brain Structures
The final lecture entitled "Probing Synaptic Interactions during Sensory Processing in Deep Brain Structures" was given by Dr. Alexander Groh from the Department of Neurosurgery of the Klinikum rechts der Isar (Technical University, München, Germany). The thalamus is widely regarded as a centrally positioned gate that controls the input pathways to the cortex, but the cortex sends also projections to the thalamus which are thought to modulate thalamic activity in a top-down fashion. Dr. Groh employed deep brain electrophysiological techniques to record from thalamic neurons while activating corticothalamic projections by optogenetic stimulation in mouse barrel cortex. His findings demonstrate that sensory processing relies on a strongly reciprocal interplay between thalamus and cortex.