"Targeted Interrogation of Forebrain Networks Supporting Arousal"

Prof. Patrick Fuller
Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
Friday, December 12, 2014 - 2:00pm
Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
Departmental Seminar
The brain structures supporting wake and fast cortical rhythms associated with cognition are incompletely understood and this has hampered our ability to treat cognitive dysfunction in dementing and neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as increase arousal/wakefulness in disorders of consciousness, including coma. The magnocellular basal forebrain (BFmc) comprises cholinergic and non-cholinergic cell populations that are implicated in a wide range of higher-level neurobiolgical processes, most fundamentally the support of wake and fast cortical rhythms. The specific contribution of individual BFmc neuronal groups to behavioral and cortical arousal is however incompletely understood. In this talk I will describe the results of experiments in which we employed a genetically targeted activation system to re-examine the specific contribution of BFmc cholinergic, GABAergic and glutamatergic cells groups in supporting wake and fast cortical rhythms in behaving animals. These results will then be compared and contrasted with similarily targeted activation of glutamatergic thalamocortical neurons, a subcortical cell population long linked with cortical activation.
Prof. John Peever
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology