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Neuronal ensembles: emergent units of cortical function? - Rafael Yuste

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Rafael Yste
March 21, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Clark Center Auditorium

Rafael Yuste, MD, PhD

Co-Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science
Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience
Columbia University

Host: Liqun Luo


The design of neural circuits, with large numbers of neurons interconnected in vast networks, strongly suggest that they are specifically build to generate emergent functional properties (1). To explore this hypothesis, we have developed two-photon holographic methods to selective image and manipulate the activity of neuronal populations in 3D in vivo (2). Using them we find that groups of synchronous neurons (neuronal ensembles) dominate the evoked and spontaneous activity of mouse primary visual cortex (3). Ensembles can be optogenetically imprinted for several days and some of their neurons trigger the entire ensemble (4). By activating these pattern completion cells in ensembles involved in visual discrimination paradigms, we can bi-directionally alter behavioral choices (5).  Our results are consistent with the possibility that neuronal ensembles are functional building blocks of cortical circuits.

1. R. Yuste, From the neuron doctrine to neural networks. Nat Rev Neurosci 16, 487-497 (2015).

2. L. Carrillo-Reid, W. Yang, J. E. Kang Miller, D. S. Peterka, R. Yuste, Imaging and Optically Manipulating Neuronal Ensembles. Annu Rev Biophys,  46: 271-293 (2017).

3. J. E. Miller, I. Ayzenshtat, L. Carrillo-Reid, R. Yuste, Visual stimuli recruit intrinsically generated cortical ensembles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, E4053-4061 (2014).

4. L. Carrillo-Reid, W. Yang, Y. Bando, D. S. Peterka, R. Yuste, Imprinting and recalling cortical ensembles. Science 353, 691-694 (2016).

5. L. Carrillo-Reid, S. Han, W. Yang, A. Akrouh, R. Yuste, Triggering visually-guided behavior by holographic activation of pattern completion neurons in cortical ensembles. bioRxiv 394999; doi: (2018).

Curriculum Vitae

Related papers

[1] Luis Carrillo-Reid*, Weijian Yang, Yuki Bando, Darcy S. Peterka, Rafael Yuste. Imprinting and recalling cortical ensembles. Science  12 Aug 2016: Vol. 353, Issue 6300, pp. 691-694. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7560

[2] ProfileLuis Carrillo-Reid, Shuting Han, Weijian Yang, Alejandro Akrouh, Rafael Yuste. Triggering visually-guided behavior by holographic activation of 2 pattern completion neurons in cortical ensembles. Science (New York, N.Y.) 353:6300 2016 Aug 12 pg 691-4. DOI: 10.1101/394999

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