Systems Neuroscience Group
Neuronal diversity is a hallmark of cortical networks. In the hippocampus, distinct neuronal cell-types interact together by selective synaptic contacts and neural activity patterns. We investigate how different forms of emotional and cognitive behaviours emerge within intricate neuronal circuits of the ventral CA1 hippocampus, a brain region instrumental for context-specific emotional memories, anxiety and goal-directed actions. We hypothesize that distinct behavioural programs are implemented by the selective recruitment of micro- and large-scale neural circuits of the ventral CA1 hippocampus. To identify these circuit motifs, we are combining single-unit recordings of ventral CA1 GABAergic interneurons and projection neurons, selective optogenetic strategies, cell-type specific viral tracing and behavioural paradigms in rodents. The results of our experimental approaches will determine fundamental neural computations underlying learning and memory within higher cortical brain regions.