"Exploring Gaps in Gap Junction Function"

Professor Gautam Awatramani
Department of Biology, University of Victoria
Friday, February 28, 2014 - 2:00pm
Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
Departmental Seminar
The importance of chemical vs. electrical signaling in the nervous system has been much debated since the times of Golgi and Cajal. While it is now clearly established that communication between neurons occurs via both chemical and electrical (gap junction containing) synapses, the relatively small size of electrical signals compared to chemical synaptic inputs has made it difficult understand how they could play a role in neural computing. Recently, we have been exploring this issue, exploiting a genetically identified population of electrically coupled motion coding ganglion cells in mouse retina. I will present our results that reveal how non-linear dendritic processes allow gap junctions to mediate novel ‘predictive’ responses as well as give rise to unique multiplexed image representations in the retina.
Prof. Melanie Woodin <m.woodin@utoronto.ca>
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology