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Freiburg Neuroscience & Neurotechnology Lectures

Ofer Yizhar: Optogenetic dissection of local and long-range connections in prefrontal circuits

Department of Brain Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel [NEUROSCIENCE & NEUROTECHNOLOGY LECTURE SERIES]
When Jan 11, 2023
from 12:15 PM to 02:00 PM
Where IMBIT, Nexus Lab, Georges-Köhler-Allee 201, Freiburg
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The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in regulating social functions in mammals, and impairments in this region have been linked with social dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. The PFC plays a part in multiple brain-wide networks regulating behavior, and its long-range connections to different cortical and subcortical targets are thought to be involved in distinct behavioral functions. How is information about the multitude of cognitive/behavioral processes routed into and out of the PFC circuit? We are interested in understanding how PFC microcircuits process behavioral information, and how distinct PFC output neuron populations regulate learning, decision-making and social behavior.

I will first describe a set of experiments aimed at understanding the structure of synaptic connectivity among amygdala-projecting neurons in the mPFC. Using single-neuron two-photon optogenetic stimulation and imaging, we demonstrated that these neurons form unique connectivity modules in the deep and superficial layers of the mPFC. I will then descibe our efforts to engineer new optogenetic tools for silencing of long-range axonal projections between brain regions. To efficiently suppress synaptic transmission, we engineered a new set of rhodopsin-based optogenetic tools that selectively couple to the Gi/o signaling pathway and strongly suppress synaptic release in vitro and in vivo. 


Duration of the talk:

Approx. 50 minutes, then general and specialized discussion.



IMBIT, Nexus Lab, Georges-Köhler-Allee 201, 79110 Freiburg


More about the speaker and his research

Yizhar Lab



Ilka Diester



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