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K. B. Ramakrishnan

Address : Theoretical Neurobiology
University of Antwerp
BIOMED, Campus CDE
Universiteitsplein 2
2610 Wilrijk
Belgium

Office : T5-36

Telephone : +32 3 820 2648

Email : ramkiattnb.ua.ac.be


Research activity :

One of the exciting and interesting topics in coding studies is the synchronization of neuronal activity. Particularly in the cerebellum arises the question why only Purkinje cells which are located very closely are synchronized in firing. Synchronization between the simple spikes (SSs) of two adjacent Purkinje cells (PC) has been observed before (Ebner and Bloedel, 1981). Simple spikes of PC pairs separated by less than 100& 956,m are synchronized in firing. Similar studies in our lab (Shin and De Schutter, 2006) confirmed synchronous patterns between pairs of very close Purkinje cells. The cause of this synchronized activity remains unresolved. In this project, I investigate whether inhibition, most likely from stellate or basket cells, contributes to this property.
I am also interested in how this mechanism influences the final output neurons of the cerebellum, the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) neurons. The interplay of the inhibitory (Purkinje cell) and excitatory (mossy and climbing fibers) inputs to the deep nuclei determines their output signal to the other parts of the brain. Since the DCN neurons are the final output structure of the cerebellum, it is important to understand how excitatory and inhibitory inputs are integrated at this level.
To address these questions I use extracellular single unit recording in anesthetized rats during rest and after stimulation, multi-electrode recording of pairs of PCs and DCN neurons, and local pharmacological manipulation of the different types of synapses.