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Jefferson

 

Program in Sensory and Systems Neuroscience

Primary Research Areas

 

Development and Plasticity of Olfactory Receptors and the Olfactory Bulb

Development and Plasticity in Visual Cortex

Physiology, Development and Plasticity of Central Taste Pathways

Sensory Coding, Learning and Plasticity in Higher-Order Cortical Areas

Neurobiology of Memory and the Role of Emotional Arousal in Learning

 

 

 

 

 

Development and Plasticity of Olfactory Receptors and the Olfactory Bulb

Dr. Peter C. Brunjes

We are primarily involved in exploring the development of the central nervous system. Current research falls into several categories. In one, we are examining the role that function plays in guiding proper brain maturation. In a second, we are examining growth in diverse species in order to understand general properties of early neural development and brain organization.    Homepage

 

Recent publications:

Mirich, J.M., Illig, K.R. and Brunjes, P.C. (2004) Experience-dependent activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) in the olfactory bulb. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 479: 234-241.

Byrd CA, Brunjes PC.  Neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb of adult zebrafish.
Neuroscience. 2001;105(4):793-801.

Fiske BK, Brunjes PC. NMDA receptor regulation of cell death in the rat olfactory bulb.
J Neurobiol. 2001 Jun 5;47(3):223-32.

Mirich JM, Brunjes PC. Activity modulates neuronal proliferation in the developing olfactory epithelium. Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2001 Mar 29;127(1):77-80.

Fiske BK, Brunjes PC. Cell death in the developing and sensory-deprived rat olfactory bulb.
J Comp Neurol. 2001 Mar 12;431(3):311-9.

Couper Leo, J. M., Devine A. M.,  and Brunjes P. C.  Focal denervation alters cellular phenotypes and survival in the developing rat olfactory bulb. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 417, 325-336, 2000

Wilson, D. A., Best,  A. R., and Brunjes, P. C. Trans-neuronal modification of anterior piriform cortical circuitry in the rat.  Brain Research 853, 317-322, 2000

Poling, K. R., and Brunjes, P. C., Sensory deafferentation and olfactory bulb morphology  in the zebrafish and related species. Brain Research, 21, 135-141, 2000

Fiske, B. K., and Brunjes, P. C. Microglia activation and the developing rat olfactory bulb. Neuroscience 96, 807-815, 2000.

Couper Leo, J. M., and Brunjes P. C. Focal denervation alters cellular phenotypes and survival in the developing rat olfactory bulb: developmental analysis.  J. Comp. Neurol.425, 409-421, 2000.

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Development and Plasticity in Visual Cortex

Dr. Alev Erisir

My primary interest is the development and the plasticity of visual system. Our experiments are concentrated on an early neonatal period in life, when the brain maintains a remarkable malleability to changes in the environment, such as lack of light or unbalanced stimulation through both eyes. By studying the molecules that are in function during this period, we aim to understand plasticity, that is what allows the brain to change, adapt, learn or resist to change in response to alterations in our environment. We use tract-tracing and immunocytochemisty techniques to examine temporal sequence of neurotransmitter receptor localization in the thalamocortical recipient cortex layers, at light and electron microscope resolutions.  Homepage

Recent Publications:

Erisir A, Levey AI, Aoki C. Muscarinic receptor M(2) in cat visual cortex: laminar distribution, relationship to gamma-aminobutyric acidergic neurons, and effect of cingulate lesions.  J Comp Neurol. 2001 Dec 10;441(2):168-85.

Wang S, Bickford ME, Van Horn SC, Erisir A, Godwin DW, Sherman SM.  Synaptic targets of thalamic reticular nucleus terminals in the visual thalamus of the cat.  J Comp Neurol. 2001 Nov 26;440(4):321-41.
 

Bickford ME, Ramcharan E, Godwin DW, Erisir A, Gnadt J and Sherman SM. 2000.  Neurotransmitters Contained in the Subcortical Extraretinal Inputs to the Monkey Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. J Comparative Neurology 424:704-717.

VanHorn S, Erisir A, Sherman SM 2000.  The relative distribution of synapses in the A-laminae of the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat. J Comparative Neurology 416:509-520.

Erisir A, D Lau, B Rudy and C S Leonard. 1999. Specific K+ channels are required to sustain high frequency firing in fast-spiking neocortical interneurons.  J. Neurophysiology 82:2476-2489.

Chow A, Erisir A, Farb C, Nadal MS, Ozaita A, Lau D Welker E and Rudy B. 1999. Kv3.1 and Kv3.2 proteins distinguish three subpopulations of GABAergic interneurons in the mouse cortex.  J Neuroscience 19(21):9932-9345.

Erisir A and Aoki C. 1998. A method of combining biocytin tract-tracing with avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex immunocytochemistry.  J Neuroscience Methods.  18:189-197.

Erisir A, Van Horn S C, and Sherman S M. 1998. Distribution of synapses in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat: differences between laminae A and A1and between relay cells and interneurons.  J Comparative Neurology, 390:24-255.

Erisir A, Van Horn S C, and Sherman S M. 1997 Relative numbers of cortical and brainstem inputs to the LGN. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A. 94(4):1517-1520.

Erisir A, Van Horn S C, Bickford M E and Sherman S M,  1997. Immunocytochemistry and distribution of parabrachial terminals in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat; A comparison with corticogeniculate terminals. J.Comp.Neurol. 377(4):535-549.

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Physiology, Development and Plasticity of Central Taste Pathways

Dr. David L. Hill

Research focuses on the neurophysiological and behavioral development of the sense of taste. Current studies examine maturational events specific to peripheral receptor cells and central nervous system neurons, the effects of early taste experience on neurophysiological and behavioral responses and the interactions among visceral and gustatory afferent discharges in the developing brainstem.   Homepage

Recent publications:


Sollars SI, Smith PC, Hill DL.  Time course of morphological alterations of fungiform papillae and taste buds following chorda tympani transection in neonatal rats. J Neurobiol. 2002 Jun 5;51(3):223-36.

Sollars SI, Hill DL.  Lack of functional and morphological susceptibility of the greater superficial petrosal nerve to developmental dietary sodium restriction.  Chem Senses. 2000 Dec;25(6):719-27.

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Research Topics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Coding, Learning and Plasticity in Higher-Order Cortical Areas

Dr. Kurt R. Illig

My over-arching research interest is in cortical structures, particularly how plasticity at various stages of development shapes the function of these structures (development of networks, changes in these networks with learning, compensation following injury). To gain insight into these issues, I explore how sensory systems code information about the world and how the codes change with various experiences. My current research focuses on understanding how odors are encoded in olfactory cortical structures: how the olfactory code emerges in development, and how it changes with learning. I employ methods such as in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, single-unit physiology, and behavioral tasks. My long-term goal is to incorporate what we learn about olfactory cortex into a general portrait of the role of cortical function and plasticity in sensory processing.   Homepage

Recent publications:

Illig, K.R (2005). Projections from orbitofrontal cortex to piriform cortex in the rat suggest a modulatory role in olfactory information processing. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 488: 224-231.

Mirich, J.M., Illig, K.R. and Brunjes, P.C. (2004) Experience-dependent activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) in the olfactory bulb. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 479: 234-241.

Illig, K.R. and Haberly, L.B. (2003). Odor-evoked activity is spatially distributed in piriform cortex. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 457: 361-373

Ekstrand, J.J., Domroese, M.E., Feig, S.L., Illig, K.R. and Haberly, L.B. (2001) Immunocytochemical analysis of basket cells in rat piriform cortex. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 434: 308-328.

Johnson, D.M.G., Illig, K.R., Behan, M. and Haberly, L.B. (2000) New features of connectivity in piriform cortex visualized by intracellular injection of pyramidal cells suggest that “primary” olfactory cortex functions like “association” cortex in other sensory systems. The Journal of Neuroscience, 20: 6974-6982.

Illig, K.R., Danilov, Y.P., Ahmad, A., Kim, C.B.Y. and Spear, P.D. (2000) Functional plasticity in extrastriate visual cortex following neonatal visual cortex damage and monocular enucleation. Brain Research, 882: 241-250.

Illig, K.R., King, V.R. and Spear, P.D. (1998) Monocular enucleation prevents retinal ganglion cell loss following early visual cortex lesions in cats. Visual Neuroscience 15: 1097-1105.

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Neurobiology of Memory and the Role of Emotional Arousal in Learning

Dr. Cedric L. Williams

Primary research interests in the neurobiological basis of memory. Currently examining the relationship between emotionally arousing events and their capacity to modulate brain systems that encode experiences into memory. Other research interests include understanding the role of brainstem nuclei in receiving inputs regarding changes in peripheral autonomic and neuroendocrine states and conveying this information to limbic system structures that regulate memory formation.   Homepage

Recent publications:

Miyashita, T. and Williams, C. L. (2002). Glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus of the solitary tract modulates memory through influences on amygdala noradrenergic systems. Behavioral Neuroscience, 116, 13-21

Clayton, E. C. and Williams, C. L. (2000). Noradrenergic receptor blockade of the NTS attenuates the mnemonic effects of epinephrine in an appetitive light-dark discrimination learning task. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 74, 135-145.


Clayton, E. C. and Williams, C. L. (2000). Glutamatergic Influences on the Nucleus Paragigantocellularis: Contribution to Performance in Avoidance and Spatial Memory Tasks. Behavioral Neuroscience, 114, 707-712.

Williams, C. L., Men, D., and Clayton, E. C. (2000). The effects of noradrenergic activation of the nucleus tractus solitarius on memory and in potentiating norepinephrine release in the amygdala. Behavioral Neuroscience, 114, 1131-1144. 
 

Clayton, E. C. and Williams, C. L. (2000). Adrenergic activation of the nucleus tractus solitarius potentiates amygdala norepinephrine release and enhances retention performance in emotionally-arousing and spatial memory tasks. Behavioural Brain Research, 112, 151-158.

Roozendaal, B., Williams, C. L., and McGaugh, J. L. (1999). Glucocorticoid receptor activation in the rat nucleus of the solitary tract facilitates memory consolidation: Involvement of the basolateral amygdala. European Journal of Neuroscience, 11, 1317-1323.

Clayton, E. C. and Williams, C. L. (2000). Posttraining inactivation of excitatory afferent input to the locus coeruleus impairs retention in an inhibitory avoidance learning task. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 73, 127-140.

Williams, C. L., Men, D., Clayton, E. C., and Gold, P. E. (1998). Norepinephrine release in the amygdala following systemic injection of epinephrine or escapable footshock: contribution of the nucleus of the solitary tract. Behavioral Neuroscience, 112, 1414-1422.
 

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