Exploring the Temporal Lobe Using Single Neuron Recordings in Humans and DNA Microarrays
Speaker: Gabriel Kreiman , MIT, CBCL
Date: October 16 2002
The temporal lobe plays a fundamental role in the recognition and storage of information about visual stimuli in the primate brain. I will describe two lines of research aimed at further understanding how neurons encode visual information in the temporal lobe.
We studied the activity of single neurons in the human brain during visual imagery and during the observation of bistable figures. Subjects were patients with pharmacologically intractable epilepsy who were implanted with depth electrodes in order to localize the seizure focus for potential surgical resection. Most of the visually selective neurons in the hippocampus, amygdala and entorhinal cortex followed the subject's percept.
We have also interrogated the expression of multiple genes in humans and mice using DNA microarray technology. This allows us to study the distinct molecular signatures that characterize different areas of the brain. In the case of the amygdala, we have found that the majority of enriched genes exhibited boundaries of expression corresponding to cytoarchitectonically-defined subnuclei. These results define a new set of molecular markers for amygdaloid subnuclei, and provide tools to genetically dissect their functional roles in different behaviors.
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