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From Neuron to Behavior

Final Report Summary - NEURO-BEHAVIOR (From Neuron to Behavior)

The Neuro-behavior research project was highly successful and preceded by and large as planned. The overall result of our research effort is that we now have a better understanding of how neural activity in the mammalian brain is linked to behavior. Highlights of this research effort include an improved understanding of how spatial cognition maps onto individual neurons in the
cortico-hippocampal formation. Here we made substantial progress by several technical innovations that improved our ability to record from neurons in behaving animals:

(1) We improved intracellular recording in behaving animals (Lee at al. 2009) and were therefore able to show that spatial representations arise instantaneously in novel environments (Epsztein et al. 2011).


Lee Albert K, Epsztein J, Brecht M (2009) Head-anchored whole-cell recordings in freely moving rats. Nature Protocols 4(3): 385-392.

Epsztein J, Brecht M, Lee AK (2011) Intracellular Determinants of Hippocampal CA1 Place and Silent Cell Activity in a Novel Environment. Neuron 70: 109-120.


(2) We improved our ability to identify neurons in behaving animals (Herfst at al. 2012, Burgalossi et al. 2011). This recording technique lead to novel insights on the neural substrates of grid-cell activity in the entorhinal cortex (Ray et al. 2014).
Our work on the Etruscan shrew brain also lead to a variety of novel insights (Brecht et al. 2011, Roth-Alpermann et al. 2010). In fact, the Etruscan shrew brain is a most promising novel species for the connectomic analysis (Seung, 2008 and Helmstaedter at al. 2013) of the mammalian brain (Naumann et al. 2012).

Herfst L, Burgalossi A, Haskic K, Tukker JJ, Schmidt M, Brecht M (2012) Friction-based stabilization of juxtacellular recordings in freely moving rats. J Neurophysiol 108(1): 697-707.

Burgalossi A, Herfst L, von Heimendahl M, Forste H, Haskic K, Schmidt M, Brecht M (2011) Microcircuits of Functionally Identified Neurons in the Rat Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Neuron 70:773-786.

S. Ray, R. Naumann, A. Burgalossi, Q. Tang, H. Schmidt & M. Brecht (2014): Grid-layout and Theta-modulation of Layer 2 Pyramidal Neurons in Medial Entorhinal Cortex. Science 21 February 2014: Vol. 343 no. 6173 pp. 891-896

Brecht M, Naumann R, Anjum F, Wolfe J, Munz M, Mende C, Roth-Alpermann C. (2011)The neurobiology of Etruscan shrew active touch. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci.366(1581):3026-36

Roth-Alpermann C, Anjum F, Naumann R, Brecht M (2010) Cortical Organization in the Etruscan Shrew (Suncus etruscus). J Neurophysiol. 104(5): 2389-2406.

Seung, S. (2008). Connectomics: Tracing the wires of the brain. The Data Foundation, http://www. dana. org/news/cerebrum/detail. aspx.

Helmstaedter M, Briggman KL, Turaga SC, Jain V, Seung HS, Denk W. (2013). Connectomic reconstruction of the inner plexiform layer in the mouse retina. Nature. Aug 8;500(7461):168-74. doi:10.1038/nature 12346

Naumann RK, Anjum F, Roth-Alpermann C, Brecht M (2012) Cytoarchitecture, areas, and neuron numbers of the etruscan shrew cortex. J Comp Neurol. 520(11);2512-30