Reid Lab Projects

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Our laboratory studies circuits in the visual cortex using several technciques.  Two-photon micrsocopy allows us to image the activity of large populations of neurons in the living brain.  Serial-section electron microscopy allows us to make three-dimensional models of the connections between these neurons.  When combined, we hope to soon image the activity of every neuron in a local circuit, and then collect anatomical data that allow us to trace the local connections in a circuit.

Calcium imaging: the function of cortical circuits

In several projects, we have used calcium imaging to study the physiological properties of neurons in the cerebral cortex.

Functional architecture

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In early studies with the technique (Ohki et al., 2005, 2006), we looked at the functional architecture of visual cortex: the relationship between the visual response properties of neurons and their physical location in the cortex.


Physiology of different classes of cortical neuron

More recently, we have examined the relationship between neuronal cell type, specifically different classes of inhibitory neurons, and visual response properties (Kerlin et al., 2010).

Kerlin et al 2010 methods kerlin 2011 methods 2

Serial-section EM: the wiring diagram of cortical circuits

Calcium imaging allows us to study the activity of large groups of neurons; we can see the computation a cortical circuit performs. By making wiring diagrams of the same cortical circuit, we will be able to understand how it performs this computation. In a recent study (Bock et al., 2011), we combined these two techniques in order to study the functional logic of inhibitory circuits in the cerebral cortex.

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