17 April 2019 from 12:45 to 13:45

PhD defence of Hai Yin Hu

Dendritic inhibition: local coordination by excitation

The brain consists of bilions of neurons that each form thousands of connections with each other. By forming these dazzling number of connections, highly complex neural networks are formed. Within these networks, our brains store information that enable us to learn and adapt to our everchanging lives. The information transfer from one neuron to another forms the basis of neuronal information processing. Neurons are capable of judging whether incoming information is important enough to forward. This occurs by the total strength of the incoming signals, for instance one strong signal may be enough or several simultaneous, weaker signals. These signals that promote information processing are called excitatory. Opposing these are inhibitory signals that lower the total signal. The balance between excitation and inhibition is essential to our health. For instance, it is known that a disturbance of this balance can result in autism, schizophrenia, or epilepsy. It is thus essential to understand how these signals are maintained and which factors contribute. In our work, we show that inhibition is regulated on an exceptionally small scale, within micrometers. By increasing the excitation locally, we show that an inhibitory connection can be formed. This mechanism can play an essential role in coordinating excitation and inhibition. As you need better brakes at higher speeds, so to does you brain require increased inhibition to be able to regulate increased excitation.

Start date and time
17 April 2019 12:45
End date and time
17 April 2019 13:45
PhD candidate
H.Y. Hu
Dendritic inhibition: local coordination by excitation
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. C.C. Hoogenraadprof. dr. A.S. Akhmanova
dr. C.J. Wierenga