EVENT

201878日,浙江大学求是高等研究院优秀大学生夏令营活动在浙大玉泉校区开营。本届夏令营面向全国高校,以参与和互动的方式让大学生们感受当前国际脑科学前沿发展态势,着重介绍浙大求是高等研究院在脑机接口和系统神经认知领域取得的研究成果。脑机接口作为神经科学、计算机技术、通信等领域的交叉技术,已得到国际上众多学科工作者的高度关注,成为当前科学界最热门最前沿的交叉研究领域之一。该技术对推动康复医学发展和探究大脑机制有着不可估量的深远意义。求高院的各位老师通过生动有趣的讲解,由浅而深地阐述了人类大脑活动机制,并发起现场互动让学生亲自体验简单的脑控实验,极大地引发了同学们的兴趣。本次活动受到各大高等院校同学们强烈反响,参与踊跃。

在夏令营开营仪式上,脑机接口实验室王跃明教授,系统神经与认知科学研究所所长、国家千人计划专家王菁(Anna Wang Roe)教授首先对营员们的到来表示欢迎,分别介绍了求是高等研究院、脑机接口实验室及系统神经与认知科学研究所的相关研究工作。营员们通过参观校园,感受了浙江大学百年来浓郁的学术气息。在聆听了求高院各位教授的专题演讲和实验室参观后,营员们得以近距离了解求是高等研究院在脑机接口和认知神经科学领域丰硕的研究成果。营员们还通过参加多种形式的师生互动和学生交流活动,激发了对科研的热情和兴趣,以及对未来专业和人生规划的广泛思考。

本次夏令营活动于11日上午圆满结束,4天的相处,促进了高校优秀大学生间的交流互动,加强了神经生物学、生物医学工程和信息电子工程等专业与国内高水平大学相关院系的联系,同时让参营学生对浙大求是高等研究院有了清晰的认识,为将来投身脑科学领域的研究奠定基础。


2018-07-17 READ MORE
2018-07-17 READ MORE

  On May 24th, Professor Pasko Rakic of Yale University School of Medicine gave a brilliant lecture titled “The evolution of brain and the formation of brain map during disease development” for Zhejiang master students in the Zijingang lecture hall of Alumni House. Pasko Rakic is a renowned neuroscientist at Yale University School of Medicine and is also the recipient of the 2008 Kavli Neuroscience Award.


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  Prof Rakic is affable and lectures are humorous. He started from studies he had done before, eliciting the phenomenon that “cortical neurons are not produced within the cerebral cortex itself” and further analyzed how this phenomenon occurs and the causes behind it. Prof. Rakic also contrasted his choice-elimination hypothesis with the alternative retention hypothesis proposed by Prof. Changex, humorously comparing it to “half-full cup and half-empty cup”.

  Professor Rakic pointed out that the core issue is not the dispute between genes and environment or stability and plasticity. The focus of research should be on how the two complement and supplement each other. Subsequently, he compared and analyzed the cerebral cortex differences between rats and humans in terms of both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. At the same time, he carefully traced the cerebral cortex elements from which the monkeys were born, and analyzed the external environment differences (pressure, fever, and other Disease, etc.) The development of different degrees of brain area development. After a series of analyses, Rakic concludes that as the evolution of vertebrates evolves, neuronal turnover capacity continues to decline.


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  The atmosphere of the interactive session was enthusiastic. The students actively asked questions about the speech and the teacher also asked questions about the operation of the study. The entire lecture ended successfully in the interaction.

2018-05-25 READ MORE

Significance

Body-centered (egocentric) and world-centered (allocentric) spatial reference frames are both important for spatial navigation. We have previously shown that vestibular heading signals, which are initially coded in a head-centered reference frame, are no longer head-centered in the ventral intraparietal (VIP) area, but instead are represented in either a body- or world-centered frame, as the two frames were not dissociated. Here, we report a flexible switching between egocentric and allocentric reference frames in a subpopulation of VIP neurons, depending on gaze strategy. Other VIP neurons continue to represent heading in a body-centered reference frame despite changes in gaze strategy. These findings suggest that the vestibular representation of heading in VIP is dynamic and may be modulated by task demands.

Abstract

By systematically manipulating head position relative to the body and eye position relative to the head, previous studies have shown that vestibular tuning curves of neurons in the ventral intraparietal (VIP) area remain invariant when expressed in body-/world-centered coordinates. However, body orientation relative to the world was not manipulated; thus, an egocentric, body-centered representation could not be distinguished from an allocentric, world-centered reference frame. We manipulated the orientation of the body relative to the world such that we could distinguish whether vestibular heading signals in VIP are organized in body- or world-centered reference frames. We found a hybrid representation, depending on gaze direction. When gaze remained fixed relative to the body, the vestibular heading tuning of VIP neurons shifted systematically with body orientation, indicating an egocentric, body-centered reference frame. In contrast, when gaze remained fixed relative to the world, this representation changed to be intermediate between body- and world-centered. We conclude that the neural representation of heading in posterior parietal cortex is flexible, depending on gaze and possibly attentional demands.

Keywords

ventral intraparietal area | reference frame | vestibular |body/world-centered | egocentric/allocentric

 

Online Paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/03/14/1715625115

Flexible egocentric and allocentric representations of heading signals in parietal cortex.pdf

Reference

[1] Chen X, DeAngelis GC, Angelaki DE (2013) Diverse spatial reference frames of vestibular signals in parietal cortex. Neuron 80:1310-1321.

 

2018-03-27 READ MORE
2018-05-29 READ MORE

Significance

Body-centered (egocentric) and world-centered (allocentric) spatial reference frames are both important for spatial navigation. We have previously shown that vestibular heading signals, which are initially coded in a head-centered reference frame, are no longer head-centered in the ventral intraparietal (VIP) area, but instead are represented in either a body- or world-centered frame, as the two frames were not dissociated. Here, we report a flexible switching between egocentric and allocentric reference frames in a subpopulation of VIP neurons, depending on gaze strategy. Other VIP neurons continue to represent heading in a body-centered reference frame despite changes in gaze strategy. These findings suggest that the vestibular representation of heading in VIP is dynamic and may be modulated by task demands.

Abstract

By systematically manipulating head position relative to the body and eye position relative to the head, previous studies have shown that vestibular tuning curves of neurons in the ventral intraparietal (VIP) area remain invariant when expressed in body-/world-centered coordinates. However, body orientation relative to the world was not manipulated; thus, an egocentric, body-centered representation could not be distinguished from an allocentric, world-centered reference frame. We manipulated the orientation of the body relative to the world such that we could distinguish whether vestibular heading signals in VIP are organized in body- or world-centered reference frames. We found a hybrid representation, depending on gaze direction. When gaze remained fixed relative to the body, the vestibular heading tuning of VIP neurons shifted systematically with body orientation, indicating an egocentric, body-centered reference frame. In contrast, when gaze remained fixed relative to the world, this representation changed to be intermediate between body- and world-centered. We conclude that the neural representation of heading in posterior parietal cortex is flexible, depending on gaze and possibly attentional demands.

Keywords

ventral intraparietal area | reference frame | vestibular |body/world-centered | egocentric/allocentric

 

Online Paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/03/14/1715625115

Flexible egocentric and allocentric representations of heading signals in parietal cortex.pdf

Reference

[1] Chen X, DeAngelis GC, Angelaki DE (2013) Diverse spatial reference frames of vestibular signals in parietal cortex. Neuron 80:1310-1321.

 

2018-03-27 READ MORE
2018-05-29 READ MORE

In a recent study published in Cerebral Cortex entitled “Presynaptic GABAa Receptors Modulate Thalamocortical Inputs in Layer 4 of Rat V1”, Dr. Lang Wang and her colleagues reported an exciting existence of presynaptic GABAa receptors selectively expressed on thalamocortical axon terminals by combining electrophysiology, optogenetic and EM approaches, which provides a novel mechanistic insight into the effects of changes in cortical inhibition and the ability to modulate inputs onto cortical circuits locally via presynaptic GABAa receptors.

 

Neocortical GABAergic neurons are diverse and connect broadly to excitatory neurons, providing cortical circuits with sophisticated computational control of neuronal activity. While there is general agreement regarding the involvement of fast GABAa receptor-mediated inhibition in the control of circuit excitability, several unresolved issues remain concerning how this regulation is achieved. The current thinking is that GABAa receptors are located mainly at postsynaptic and extrasynaptic sites in neocortex, thus manipulation of fast inhibition would only affect intracortical circuits, while leaving incoming afferent inputs unaffected. Here we report that GABAa receptors containing specific subunits are selectively present on presynaptic terminals of thalamocortical (TC) inputs in L4, the main input layer of primary visual cortex (V1), which can be activated in response to GABA release by local high frequency firing of inhibitory neurons, thus decreases neurotransmitter release and modulates short-term plasticity. These results suggest an important role for presynaptic GABAa receptors on TC synapses in regulating local circuit excitability, gating TC information to V1, and providing a novel mechanism for local corticothalamic feedback.

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Below is the link to access the article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29373653

Presynaptic GABAA Receptors Modulate Thalamocortical Inputs in Layer 4 of Rat V1.pdf


2018-03-14 READ MORE

In a recent study published in Cerebral Cortex entitled “Presynaptic GABAa Receptors Modulate Thalamocortical Inputs in Layer 4 of Rat V1”, Dr. Lang Wang and her colleagues reported an exciting existence of presynaptic GABAa receptors selectively expressed on thalamocortical axon terminals by combining electrophysiology, optogenetic and EM approaches, which provides a novel mechanistic insight into the effects of changes in cortical inhibition and the ability to modulate inputs onto cortical circuits locally via presynaptic GABAa receptors.

 

Neocortical GABAergic neurons are diverse and connect broadly to excitatory neurons, providing cortical circuits with sophisticated computational control of neuronal activity. While there is general agreement regarding the involvement of fast GABAa receptor-mediated inhibition in the control of circuit excitability, several unresolved issues remain concerning how this regulation is achieved. The current thinking is that GABAa receptors are located mainly at postsynaptic and extrasynaptic sites in neocortex, thus manipulation of fast inhibition would only affect intracortical circuits, while leaving incoming afferent inputs unaffected. Here we report that GABAa receptors containing specific subunits are selectively present on presynaptic terminals of thalamocortical (TC) inputs in L4, the main input layer of primary visual cortex (V1), which can be activated in response to GABA release by local high frequency firing of inhibitory neurons, thus decreases neurotransmitter release and modulates short-term plasticity. These results suggest an important role for presynaptic GABAa receptors on TC synapses in regulating local circuit excitability, gating TC information to V1, and providing a novel mechanism for local corticothalamic feedback.

 w.png

Below is the link to access the article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29373653

Presynaptic GABAA Receptors Modulate Thalamocortical Inputs in Layer 4 of Rat V1.pdf


2018-03-14 READ MORE
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