Investigators of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR) want to understand how events at the synaptic and cellular levels are involved in behaviour. Electrophysiological recordings and imaging from single neurons are combined with analysis of the activity in networks of neurons in relation to animal-behavior. By using molecular interventions and assessing the consequences at different levels of organization, an understanding of the causal relationships is obtained between activity of synapses, neurons, neuronal networks, and cognitive behaviour.
Brain disorders are currently associated with a loss of synaptic plasticity and connectivity in neuronal networks. They are characterized by morphological changes in neurons and synaptic functioning. Photonics technology is used to visualise these neurons and related neurotransmitters. Optogenetics is used to detect the relation between synaptic dysfunction and animal behavior.
Life cell Imaging
Our facilities include an in vitro imaging platform and an in vivo animal model imaging platform with a focus on developments in high spatial resolution, deep tissue penetration, video imaging rates and intrinsic markers. Laser systems are used, aimed at photo-detections of neurotransmitters, involved in various neurological disorders. With this technology, cortical networks can be mapped on a (sub-) cellular level without photo-toxicity.