Physiology and Biophysics
Distinctive biophysical and light-encoding properties of inhibitory neurons in the macaque monkey retina.
The retina is the only part of the brain that is visible to the naked eye. It’s natural isolation from the rest of the brain makes the retina an ideal model for studying the biophysical properties of neurons and the computational properties of neural circuits in an intact experimental preparation. In this talk, I will discuss the biophysical and light-encoding properties of an inhibitory neuron—the wiry-type amacrine cell. These cells have been identified morphologically in the macaque and human retina. They exhibit long, thin dendritic processes that exhibit regenerative potentials likely arising from NMDA spikes. In addition, these cells show asymmetrical responses to visual motion, suggesting that they contribute to motion processing in the primate visual stream.
host: Stan Froehner
TMC function, dysfunction and the prospects for inner ear gene therapy
Jeffrey R. Holt, Ph.D.
Department of Otolaryngology
Harvard Medical School
TMC proteins are of considerable interest for basic inner ear biologists and for translational and clinical neuroscientists because they cause deafness in mice and humans when mutated. Our research group has proposed they may be components of the elusive mechanotransduction channel in sensory hair cells. Evidence for and against this hypothesis will be presented. In addition, a potential gene therapy approach to restore hair cell and auditory function in mice and humans with Tmc1 mutations will be discussed.
host: Ed Rubel