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MSc Exit Seminar – Andreanne Lavoie (Liu Lab)

December 15, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

The functional properties of inhibitory neurons in the brainstem circuit mediating the optokinetic reflex

Reflexes are critical to sustain life and their circuits are ideal systems to study how neurons encode sensory information that directly mediate behaviours. For instance, the optokinetic reflex (OKR) is an involuntary oculomotor behaviour triggered by global motion of the field of view and it is critical for stable vision. The neural underpinning of the OKR is found in the brainstem accessory optic system (AOS), which contains neurons encoding information concerning the direction of motion (direction selectivity), spatial frequency and velocity of the visual field. The AOS is composed of diverse types of neurons, based on anatomy, gene expression or functionality. However, it remains unknown whether genetically defined AOS populations, such as inhibitory neurons, encode different information from that encoded by the rest of AOS neurons. By paring in vivo electrophysiology with optogenetic tagging, I studied the spatial frequency and direction selectivity tunings of inhibitory neurons in the AOS. I found that those inhibitory neurons have a lower preferred spatial frequency and are less direction selective than non-inhibitory AOS neurons. This finding will shed light on the functional roles of inhibitory neurons in the brainstem circuit that mediates the OKR behaviour.


Join Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 at 12:00pm
Meeting ID: 865 951 40397
Host: Baohua Liu (baohua.liu@utoronto.ca)


December 15, 2020
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm