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Imaging function and dysfunction of neuronal circuits in the visual cortex

Objective

The research program aims to understand the dynamics of the structural and functional organization of the visual cortex and the implications for amblyopia ('lazy eye', the most prevalent visual disorder among young people). We will study these fundamental issues from the molecular level all the way to the network level. To achieve this, members of the consortium have - for the first time - established chronic in vivo two photon imaging of Ca2+ responses in the visual cortex by making use of a novel genetically encoded Ca2+ sensor. Using this powerful new methodology we will study how experience changes firing properties of individual neurons of known identity and how this correlates with changes in inhibitory and excitatory synaptic structures. Using the same approach we will study the neuronal substrate of amblyopia and how it alters coding of visual information. Next we will study how binocular experience leads to recovery from amblyopia and how perceptual learning can improve this in animal models and human subjects. This knowledge will be directly translated into new treatments of amblyopia by one of the participating SMEs. Last we will study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that restrict plasticity in the adult visual system with the aim to achieve increased experience dependent plasticity in the adult brain. This knowledge can be used for the treatment of disorders of the CNS from which recovery is limited due to restricted plasticity. Apart from amblyopia, these include brain tumors, stroke, degenerative diseases and trauma. Together this program will provide comprehensive insight into the neuronal interactions underpinning function and dysfunction of the visual cortex and will contribute directly to improved treatment of amblyopia and development of plasticity based approaches for curing a large array of disorders of the CNS.

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-B
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Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSE AKADEMIE VAN WETENSCHAPPEN - KNAW
Address
Kloveniersburgwal 29 Het Trippenhuis
1011 JV Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Other
EU contribution
€ 522 128
Administrative Contact
Rikesh Balgobind (Mr.)

Participants (7)

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 656 632
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munich
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Annette Starke (Ms.)
University College London
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 357 204
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kent Lee (Mr.)
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI FIRENZE
Italy
EU contribution
€ 346 560
Address
Piazza San Marco 4
50121 Florence
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Cristina Stefanile (Prof.)
CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 269 531
Address
Newport Road 30-36
CF24 ODE Cardiff
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Nick Bodycombe (Mr.)
BITPLANE AG
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 159 749
Address
Badenerstrasse 682
8048 Zuerich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Bernard Quinn (Mr.)
MINDWEAVERS PLC

Participation ended

United Kingdom
Address
Mill Street
OX2 0JX Oxford
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Bruce Robinson (Mr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 287 102
Address
University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Paul Cartledge (Mr.)