Prakash Kara, Associate Professor of Neurosciences and Ophthalmology at Medical University of South Carolina will be delivering a seminar, Synaptic, Spiking And Vascular Cortical Maps Of Sensory Stimulus Selectivity on December 9th, 2013 at 3:00pm in the John A. Moran Eye Center auditorium.
The Kara lab studies the mechanisms by which sensory feature selectivity arise in local microcircuits of the visual cortex. They use cutting-edge biophotonic and electrophysiological tools such as in vivo two-photon calcium and glutamate imaging of individual synapses and populations of neurons, simultaneous intracellular recording from neurons or astrocytes, and measurement of blood flow in individual microvessels. Due to differences in the organization of visual cortex in rodent vs. non-rodent species, they contrast the feature selectivity across these mammals. Dr. Kara will present new unpublished data on their mapping of orientation selectivity of synaptic inputs, action potentials and blood vessels. Their overall goals in this sub-project are to decipher two key aspects of neurovascular coupling in vivo: the role of synaptic input vs. spiking output in shaping the selectivity of fast hemodynamic responses and whether astrocytes are required for this functional hyperemia. Their novel multi-modal in vivo approach could open new avenues for understanding many neurological disorders that have a neurovascular component, such as those caused by aging, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke.