Christine Grienberger MD. PhD at Magee Lab/HHMI Baylor College of Medicine Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas, USAChristine GrienbergerMD. PhD at Magee Lab/HHMI Baylor College of Medicine Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas, USA
Circuit mechanisms underlying CA1 place cell representations, by Christine Grienberger
Abstract of the talk:
A crucial function of the brain is to produce useful representations of the external world. The hippocampus contains neurons tuned to fire action potentials (APs) in particular spatial locations within an environment. Collectively, populations of these place cells encode abstract and concrete environmental features. Our results demonstrate that place cells are driven by a subset of inputs whose elevated synaptic weights provide excitation that exceeds a spatially uniform level of inhibition. A novel form of synaptic plasticity called behavioral timescale synaptic plasticity (BTSP) mediates this increase in synaptic weights. BTSP has several distinct characteristics, including that it depends on dendritic plateau potentials (plateaus) instead of APs. Using two-photon Ca2+ imaging in mice exploring for the first time a novel linear track we show that plateaus and BTSP shape CA1 place cell representations. Taken together, these results point towards a fundamental role of BTSP in creating CA1 representations and, thus, identify plateaus as a key signal instructing CA1 neurons which features to encode.
Short Biography of Christine Grienberger:
After completing medical school, Dr. Grienberger subsequently went on to complete her Ph.D. studies at the Technical University Munich under the supervision of Arthur Konnerth. During graduate school she used fiber photometry and two-photon Ca2+ imaging to investigate network dysfunction in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2014, Dr. Grienberger then started her postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Jeff Magee at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus and has moved, in July 2019, to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she continues to work as a Research Specialist in the Magee lab.