I am a 2nd Year DPhil student working in Ed Mann's lab. I previously studied biomedical sciences (BSc) at University College London (UCL) and then carried on to do a Masters degree (MSc) in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. My research focuses on the role of inhibitory neurons in cortical network oscillations at gamma (γ)-frequency (30-100 Hz).
Impairment of γ-oscillations is observed in a number of psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Interestingly, during particular cognitive states like attention and exploration, many cortical circuits participate in the γ-oscillation rhythm. When these cortical circuits are oscillating at γ-frequency our brain cells are synchronized and rhythmically coordinated with each other. Exploring the mechanisms that enable rhythmic at γ-oscillations to emerge may help us understand how oscillations recorded in humans reflect participating microcircuits, and provide insights into which neuronal computations are disrupted in cognitive disorders.
It has been shown that these rhythms depend on the spiking of inhibitory interneurons, which synchronize the firing of excitatory pyramidal cells via fast synaptic inhibition. Inhibitory interneurons, constitute a heterogeneous group of neurons that can be distinguished based on their expression of neuropeptides, Ca2+-binding proteins, and the subcellular targets of their axonal projections. In order to manipulate the activity of specified interneuron subclasses and examine their contribution to cortical network γ-oscillations we employ the use of transgenic mouse lines coupled with cre-dependent optogenetic constructs.