BIG - The Brain Implant Group


Relevant for Research Area

A - Foundations


In this project we aim to address the modulatory effect of Dopamine (DA) released from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) on the activity of single neurons and neuronal networks in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). We apply optogenetic tools for in vivo cell type- and brain area-specific recruitment (channelrhodopsin) and silencing (halorhodopsin) of DA cells during goal-directed motor behaviour; we develop optrodes which allow simultaneous optical stimulation and recording of DA neurons; we apply and further improve multi-electrode arrays with integrated optical fibres (optoprobes) for manipulating DA release in defined PFC subareas; we investigate the modulatory effect of DA on the dynamics (e.g. frequency, power) of neuronal network activity patterns in the PFC of behaving mice; we monitor motor and reward behaviour during recordings; and, we develop neuronal network models to study the network mechanisms underlying the neuromodulatory influence of DA on the network activity patterns in the PFC in relation to behavioural tasks.

Research Status

Establishment of ‘optotagging’, a method allowing us to activate DA fibres in defined target brain regions, in particular the medial prefrontal cortex and the Nucleus accumbens, in which DA fibres terminate, using light application and simultaneous recording of individual projecting DA cells in the VTA during reward behaviour.

Project Related Publications

Strüber M, Sauer JF, Jonas P, Bartos M. Distance-dependent inhibition supports focality of gamma oscillations. Nature Commun 8 (2017)  DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00936-3.

Yuan M, Meyer T, Benkowitz C, Savanthrapadian S, Ansel-Bollepalli L, Foggetti A, Wulff P, Alcami P, Elgueta C, Bartos M. Somatostatin-positive interneurons in the dentate gyrus of mice provide local- and long-range septal synaptic inhibition. eLife (2017);6 e21105.

Biskamp J, Bartos M, Sauer JF. Organization of prefrontal network activity by respiration-related oscillations. Sci Rep (2017) 7:45508.

Janz P, Savathrapadian S, Häussler U, Kilias A, Nestel A, Kretz O, Kirsch M, Bartos M, Egert U, Haas C. Synaptic remodeling of entorhinal input contributes to an aberrant hippocampal network in temporal lobe epilepsy. Cereb Cortex (2016) doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw093.

Sauer JF, Strüber M, Bartos M. Impaired fast-spiking interneuron function in a genetic mouse model of depression. eLife (2015;10.7554/eLife.04979.

Strüber M, Jonas P, Bartos M. Strength and duration of perisomatic GABAergic inhibition depend on distance between synaptically connected cells. PNAS USA (2015). doi:10.1073/pnas.1423628112.

Elgueta C, Köhler J, Bartos M Persistent discharges in dentate gyrus perisonma-inhibiting interneurons require HCN channel activation. J Neurosci 35 (2015): 4131-4139.