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AG Felmy

Main research topics

  •  Auditory brainstem pathways as neurophysiological model circuits for cellular adaptations
  • Neurophysiology of synaptic transmission and postsynaptic integration
  • Biophysics of neuronal input output functions

 

The representation of our environment is generated by neuronal circuits in our brain. These representations therefore depend on the interplay of synaptic connectivity and biophysical properties of individual neurons within a neuronal network. The understanding of neuronal connectivity and function is hence crucial to decipher how we perceive our environment.

 

My lab tries to understand mechanistically how neurons in well-defined circuits generate output that corresponds to neuronal representations. Therefore, we study synaptic evoked input output functions from the presynaptic release mechanisms via EPSC to EPSP transformation, postsynaptic integration of excitation and inhibition to the finally generated action potential. With this approach we are able to determine the mechanisms of information transfer at specified junctions within a neuronal network or pathway.

 

Or lab focuses mainly on neurons in the auditory brainstem pathways, as the well documented structure-function relationship is a key feature to understand the interactions between different neuronal populations. Auditory brainstem pathways are also amazing in their biophysical properties, as they need to extract from only amplitude- and frequency modulated air pressure waves and binaural cues the required information to generate the wonderful auditory space of our everyday life. To accomplish this task it appears that neurons in the auditory brainstem are highly adapted to a specific computational features. These adaptations generate various biophysical model cells, such as fast or slow integrators, rapid synaptic transmission or well-defined neuromodulations that we investigate in detail with neurophysiological techniques.

Ongoing work in the lab

  • Influence of distinct synaptic components on action potential generation in the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus.
  • NMDA-R dependent increase in auditory information content
  • Synaptic integration and biophysical properties of neurons in the medial superior olive
  • Developmental and experience dependent alterations of calcium influx sites the medial superior olive
  • Contribution of the fast depolarization after potential to burst like firing in neurons of the medial enthorinal cortex.
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