Fysiologföreningen: Karl Kandler
Developmental organization of inhibitory brain circuits lessons from the auditory system
Professor Karl Kandler
University of Pittsburgh, USA
Topographic organization of neuronal pathways is fundamental for the brain. Dr. Kandler has investigated how developing auditory pathways in the mammalian brainstem become functionally and structurally organized. Using a combination of electrophysiology and photolytic uncaging of neurotransmitters his work has unraveled the events and synaptic mechanisms underlying the formation and tonotopic refinement of an inhibitory sound localization pathway. Recently, his research focused on the role of neuronal activity in the development of central auditory circuits. Before hearing onset, neuronal activity in central auditory pathways is dominated by stereotypical, rhythmic spike patterns that originate in the cochlea. The role of these activity patterns in the refinement of brain connections has remained unresolved. The results from these studies provide evidence that the specific temporal pattern of pre-hearing activity plays a crucial role in the development of precise tonotopic maps. In addition, slightly abnormal patterns before hearing onset result in long-lasting deficits in the auditory brainstem organization.
Host: Anna K Magnusson