Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Special lecture: Koch

Wednesday, July 4 2012 18:00-19:00 @ Dome theatre

Special lecture: "Studying the Murine Mind using Large Scale Observatories"

Christof Koch (Caltech)


Mice are a promising model system for studying the neuronal correlates of consciousness. Their brain structure is similar to that of the human, they display complex behavior, their underlying neuronal responses can be measured using optics and silicon probes at cellular level of resolution and the underlying neuronal networks can be modeled. In contrast to the blunt and edentate tools available to probe the human brain, optogenetics allows scientists to delicately, transiently, and reversibly control defined events in defined cell types at defined times in mice with millisecond resolution. That is, unlike the vast majority of human studies, experiments in mice move from correlation to causation, from observing that this circuit is activated whenever the subject is perceiving something to inferring that this circuit is necessary for a particular behavior or a conscious perception. I shall report on the ten year, large-scale (several hundred scientists and engineers) and high throughput efforts to build brain observatories to understand the mouse visual system that are ongoing at the Allen Institute.

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