The Long and Winding Road: Connecting Cortex to Cortex Through the Thalamus. (360G-Wellcome-213692_Z_18_Z)


Our current model of the thalamus as a modulator and transmitter of sensory information is difficult to reconcile with the connectivity and physiology of the high-order thalamic nuclei (HOn). The dominance of cortical over peripheral input, variety of cortical areas providing modulation and cell-to-cell diversity in cortical projection targets have made the HOn difficult to understand. I propose that inhibitory circuits are key to understanding the function of diverse HOn pathways since they're in a privileged position to potentially gate behaviourally-relevant pathways and shape the coupling of HOn neurons to cortical areas. I will combine wide-field imaging and extracellular recordings from LP, TRn and vLGn in behaving mice to determine the cortical network affiliation of diverse LP units, whether these networks change with behavioural context, and how inhibitory neurons coordinate activity between LP neurons affiliated with distinct cortical networks during behaviour. Next, I will bi-directionally disrupt inhibition in vLGn and TRn, studying how this affects cortical activity and behaviour and enquiring whether the two types of inhibition have different functions. Lastly, I will search for the circuit substrate of the inhibitory interactions between LP networks revealed in vivo by combining tracer injections and optogenetic circuit mapping in slices.

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Grant Details

Amount Awarded 300000
Applicant Surname Marques-Smith
Approval Committee Basic Science Interview Committee
Award Date 2018-10-31T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2018/19
Grant Programme: Title Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship
Internal ID 213692/Z/18/Z
Lead Applicant Dr Andre Marques-Smith
Partnership Value 300000
Planned Dates: End Date 2020-04-10T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2019-01-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region Greater London
Sponsor(s) Dr Sonja Hofer