Keywords: action potential, calcium imaging, computer simulations, dynamic clamp, electrophysiology, excitability, mathematical biology, neural networks, pain, sensory physiology, synaptic transmission, synchrony.
Detailed Description: Our research focuses on how neurons and neural circuits process information. Interests include but are not limited to how neural processing impacts pain perception, especially how aberrations in that processing contribute to chronic pain. Our approach is an integrative one designed to address the challenges posed by biological complexity. A system is complex because of nonlinearities. Nonlinearities arise when components of a system (e.g. ion channels within a neuron, or neurons within a network) compete, cooperate, or interfere with one another. A nonlinear system is not the sum of its parts – this has crucial implications for the applicability of reductionist approaches. We therefore combine nonlinear dynamical analysis with computer simulations and experiments in order to decipher how system components normally interact and how those interactions go awry under pathological conditions. Experimental methods include various forms of electrophysiology (ranging from dynamic clamp to multielectrode recordings in vivo), calcium imaging and photostimulation (i.e. optogenetics) in various tissue preparations spanning from peripheral nerve endings in the skin to the neocortex.
Cell and tissue culture: brain slice, primary hippocampal cell culture, neurons.
Procedures: Behavioural tests, electrophysiology, in-vitro electrophysiology, in-vivo electrophysiology, patch clamp, signal transduction characterization, stereotaxic brain surgery, voltage clamp.
Acoustic Startle Chamber, amplifier, analytical balances, benchtop centrifuge, calcium imaging system, confocal microscope, culture hood, culture incubators, dissecting microscope, electrophysiology rig, fluorescence microscope, fresh tissue sectioning systems, micropipette puller, mini vortexer, motorized micromanipulators, pressure osmometer, stimulator, stirrer/hot plate, von Frey hairs, water baths.
Yves De, Koninck Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec, U. Laval, Canada
Erik De Schutter, Computational Neurosciences Unit, Okinawa Inst. Of Science and Technology, Japan
Terry Sejnowski, Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Inst., USA