Laboratory of Hearing and neuronal activity lab

  • Our lab implements genetic tools for studying and modulating neuronal activity. We use opto- and chemogenetic strategies together with cre-lox mice strains and/or viral constructs to target and control unique cell populations of the auditory system. We use in vitro electrophysiology (whole-cell patch clamp) that give explicit information on ion currents related to altered neuronal activity. This data is complimentary to in vivo models of intact systems. Unit recordings using acute and chronic multichannel electrodes provide new insight to neuronal activity, both sensory driven and spontaneous. Using clustering algorithms to separate units into plausible cell types we can reach new levels of understanding of regulation of neuronal activity of unique cell populations, and how alterations to neuronal activity affect circuit output. We also record auditory event-related potentials to correlate sensory gating to regulation of neuronal activity. For tinnitus research we implement auditory brainstem responses to know hearing threshold of mice, noise-overexposure to induce tinnitus without hearing loss, and we use Gap prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle tests to evaluate tinnitus perception in mice.

    Principal investigators

    Ph.D. students

    M.Sc. students

    Previous Member

    • Thawann Malfatti Borges

      Graduated in Speech-language pathology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. Master degree in Neuroscience at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, 2015.
      Areas of interest: Auditory system, tinnitus, optogenetics

    • Markus Michael Hilscher

      Markus Hilscher has a background in computer science with specialization in mathematical & computational biology.
      Areas of interest: Research on microcircuits in the brain. More precisely, working with electrophysiology, dynamic-clamp and real time processing in order to investigate aspects of synchronization and interconnectivity.