Lopez Bendito Guillermina

5 février 2021

Insituto de Neurosciencias, Spain

The thalamus that speaks to the cortex : spontaneous activity in the developing brain

Invitée par Edouardo Gascon


Our research team runs several related projects studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of axonal connections in the brain. In particular, our aim is to uncover the principles underlying thalamocortical axonal wiring, maintenance and ultimately the rewiring of connections, through an integrated and innovative experimental programme. The development of the thalamocortical wiring requires a precise topographical sorting of its connections. Each thalamic nucleus receives specific sensory information from the environment and projects topographically to its corresponding cortical. A second level of organization is achieved within each area, where thalamocortical connections display an intra-areal topographical organization, allowing the generation of accurate spatial representations within each cortical area. Therefore, the level of organization and specificity of the thalamocortical projections is much more complex than other projection systems in the CNS. The central hypothesis of our laboratory is that thalamocortical wiring influences and maintains the functional architecture of the brain. We also believe that rewiring and plasticity events can be triggered by activity-dependent mechanisms in the thalamus. Here in this talk, I will present our recent data on the activity-dependent mechanisms involved in thalamocortical guidance and cortical development. I will also present data on the role of this activity in the thalamus in promoting neuroplastic cortical changes following sensory deprivation. Within these projects we are using several experimental programmes, these include : optical imaging, manipulation of gene expression in vivo, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, cell culture, sensory deprivation paradigms and electrophysiology.

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