Thomas Mrsic-Flögel - Bio-sketch
The vast majority of our knowledge about how the brain encodes information has been obtained from recordings of one or few neurons at a time or from global mapping methods such as fMRI. These approaches have left unexplored how neuronal activity is distributed in space and time within a cortical column and how hundreds of neurons interact to process sensory information. By taking advantage of the most recent advances in two-photon microscopy, the research in my lab addresses the function, development and plasticity of primary visual cortex: 1) to understand how cortical neuronal networks encode visual information, and 2) to understand how they become specialised for sensory processing during postnatal development. Specifically, we use in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to record activity simultaneously from hundreds of neurons in visual cortex while showing different visual stimuli. This approach enables us to characterise in detail how individual neurons and neuronal subsets interact within a large cortical network in response to visual stimuli. We investigate the maturation of cortical network function after the onset of vision and assess the role of visual experience in this process.