Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) – afdeling De Jonge Akademie (DJA)
Aim of research
To unravel and understand functioning of neuronal circuitries in brain areas that are known to participate in specific behaviors. We mainly focus on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). These brain areas are strongly interconnected and are involved in motivational aspects of behavior. We especially are interested in how activity and synaptic plasticity in these circuitries is regulated by the classical neurotransmitters acetylcholine and dopamine.
1- How is information processing in the cortex affected by dopamine and acetylcholine?
2- What neurons and what synaptic connections are modulated by dopamine and acetylcholine?
3- What neuronal parameters are affected?
In the lab we use electrophysiological and imaging techniques. Neuronal network properties are studied with voltage-sensitive dye imaging and multi-electrode systems. Neuronal and synaptic properties are studied with patch-clamp and two-photon imaging.
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