CANCELLED - 'Self-tuning neurons and firing rate homeostasis' with Gina Turrigiano

Past Event

22 April 2016, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD


This seminar is organised by the Programme on Mind and Machine, an Oxford Martin School institute

Abstract: Homeostatic mechanisms stabilize neural circuit function by keeping firing rates (FRs) within a set-point range, but whether individual neocortical neurons regulate firing cell-autonomously, and whether this process is restricted to certain behavioral states such as sleep or wake, is unknown. We have followed the process of FR homeostasis in individual visual cortical neurons in freely behaving rodents as they cycled between sleep and wake states. When FRs are perturbed by visual deprivation, over time they return precisely to a cell-autonomous set-point, and this restoration of firing occurs selectively during periods of active waking and is suppressed by sleep. Longer natural waking periods result in more FR homeostasis, as does artificially extending the length of waking. This exclusion of FR homeostasis from sleep raises the possibility that memory consolidation or some other sleep-dependent process is vulnerable to interference from homeostatic plasticity mechanisms.

Speaker: Gina Turrigiano received a BA in biology from Reed College and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego, in 1990. She was a postdoc with Eve Marder at Brandeis University before joining the faculty in 1994. She is now the Levitan Professor in the Department of Biology. Turrigiano has received many awards for her research, including a MacArthur foundation ‘genius’ grant, McKnight Foundation Technological Innovation and Neurobiology of Disease Awards, an NIH director’s Pioneer Award, the Nakasone Award, and a Javitz Neuroscience Investigator Award. She was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences.

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