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Neural coding in the barrel somatosensory cortex

Principal investigator: Dr. Arthur Houweling

A major focus of the lab is the neural basis of perception in the rodent whisker system. What is the sensory impact of action potentials in single neurons during behavior? We use electrophysiological techniques (e.g. nanostimulation) to add or subtract action potentials in single identified neurons recorded in vivo. Another technique that we use is two-photon population calcium imaging, to monitor the action potential activity in a network of cortical neurons while an animal performs a behavioral task.

Selected publications

  • Bosman LWJ, Houweling AR, Owens CB, Tanke N, Shevchouk OT, Rahmati N, Teunissen WH, Ju C, Gong W, Koekkoek SK, De Zeeuw CI (2011) Anatomical pathways involved in generating and sensing rhythmic whisker movements. Front Integr Neurosci. 5:53. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2011.00053
  • Wolfe J, Houweling AR, Brecht M (2010) Sparse and powerful cortical spikes. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 20, 306-312 (pubmed)
  • Houweling AR*, Doron G*, Voigt BC, Herfst LJ, Brecht M (2010) Nanostimulation: manipulation of single neuron activity by juxtacellular current injection. J Neurophysiol. 103, 1696-1704 (pubmed)
  • Chorev E, Epsztein J, Houweling AR, Lee AK, Brecht M (2009)  Electrophysiological recordings from behaving animals - going beyond spikes. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 19, 513-519 (pubmed)
  • Houweling AR, van Ooyen A (2009) Homeostasis at multiple spatial and temporal scales. In: Squire LR (ed.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, volume 4, pp. 1189-1194. Oxford: Academic Press.
  • Voigt BC, Brecht M, Houweling AR (2008) Behavioral detectability of single-cell stimulation in the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus. J Neurosci. 28, 12362-12367 (pubmed)
  • Greenberg DS*, Houweling AR*, Kerr JN (2008) Population imaging of ongoing neuronal activity in visual cortex of the awake rat. Nature Neurosci. 11, 749-751 (pubmed)
  • Houweling AR, Brecht M (2008) Behavioural report of single neuron stimulation in somatosensory cortex. Nature 451, 65-68 (pubmed)