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Optogenetic modulation of large-scale network dynamics in the ferret

Andreas K. Engel (PI), Friederike Axmann

The project aims at investigation and modulation of resting state and stimulus-induced coupling in cortico-thalamic networks of anesthetized ferrets. We will focus on visual cortical areas and higher-order multisensory areas to address interactions supporting visual and multisensory integration. Using an optogenetic approach, we will test the modulation of cortical network dynamics by inputs from the lateral posterior (LP)- pulvinar complex. Ongoing activity as well as activity induced by visual stimuli will be recorded by electrocorticographic arrays and laminar probes placed in cortex and in the LP-pulvinar complex. The electrophysiological recordings will be combined with light-induced activation of cell populations in the LP-pulvinar with different oscillation frequencies. This will allow to examine the relevance of this thalamic nucleus in controlling of ongoing and stimulus-induced cortical network dynamics.