ESR 11

Cortical and Sub-Cortical Interactions During Reach, and their Reconfiguration after Cortical Lesion

Location(s): Newcastle University, UK

Supervisors: Prof S Baker 

Pre-motor cortical areas influence movement via connections to M1, the spinal cord and the reticular formation. The highly distributed system is especially amenable to reconfiguration, enabling recovery after damage. Previous work has focussed mainly on oscillatory activity, but oscillations are strongly attenuated during movement – the very moment when we expect inter-site communication to be greatest.We will use latent factor analysis of multiple neuron activity to extract low-dimensional neural dynamics for each area, and search for signatures of inter-areal communication. Retrograde viral transfection with inhibitory optogenetic constructs will then be used to produce temporally and anatomically-specific inactivation (e.g. of projections from SMA to reticular formation), allowing us to test the behavioural effect of disrupting communication. Finally, we will perform a lesion of the primary motor cortex using endothelin 1 injections, which generates ischaemia similar to stroke, and study how neural dynamics change during recovery. 

Behavioural paradigm: arm reaching movements towards radially oriented visual targets in 2D plane. 

Recording and stimulation techniques: Multi-electrode array recordings of spike and LFPs (including different cortical laminae); optogenetic inactivation.

Planned secondment(s): 

  • FORTH Foundation for Research and Technology
  • Aix-Marseille University

Contact: email Prof Baker

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