Systems Neuroscience Group

Research group leader

Staff

  • Emma Volitaki, PhD student
  • Konstantinos Koukoutselos, PhD student

Research focus

  • Neural circuits of the ventral CA1 hippocampus underlying anxiety behaviour
  • Neural circuits of the ventral CA1 hippocampus underlying context-specific fear memories

Methods

  • In vivo single-unit and local field potential recordings in behaving rodents
  • Optogenetics
  • Viral tracing of identified neural circuits
  • Anxiety and fear-related behavioral paradigms

Short description

Neuronal diversity is a hallmark of cortical networks. In the hippocampus, distinct neuronal cell-types interact together by selective synaptic contacts and neural activity patterns. We investigate how different forms of emotional and cognitive behaviours emerge within intricate neuronal circuits of the ventral CA1 hippocampus, a brain region instrumental for context-specific emotional memories, anxiety and goal-directed actions. We hypothesize that distinct behavioural programs are implemented by the selective recruitment of micro- and large-scale neural circuits of the ventral CA1 hippocampus. To identify these circuit motifs, we are combining single-unit recordings of ventral CA1 GABAergic interneurons and projection neurons, selective optogenetic strategies, cell-type specific viral tracing and behavioural paradigms in rodents. The results of our experimental approaches will determine fundamental neural computations underlying learning and memory within higher cortical brain regions.

Further information

Research group’s website