In contrast to the wealth of information gathered in neuropsychology since the advent of imaging technologies, the cellular physiology of the neocortex is yet underdeveloped. The aim of this work is specifically to understand what determines the functions and the characteristics of excitatory synapses between pyramidal neurons and the different types of interneurons of the neocortex. This will be achieved by combining electrophysiological recordings of pairs of neurons with calcium imaging at the single synapse level using multiphoton microscopy, single RT-multiplexPCR and anatomical reconstruction of the connected neurons. The calcium imaging will detect transients in both pre- and postsynaptic elements and involve the development of new multiphoton laser scanning microscope hard- and software. The single cell RT-multiplexPCR will be expanded using DNA microchip technology to detect the expression of 100 genes relevant to cell-type identification and synaptic transmission.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts