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Electrophysiological Correlates of Behavior

Date:  Thursday, August 30

Organised by: Bettina Platt & Karsten Wicke (Aberdeen University, Scotland).


This symposium explores novel ways to monitor and analyse physiological brain activity  in awake rodents and humans, for basic research purposes that addresses key aspects in  cognitive and sleep research, as well as medically oriented applications with respect to  the pharmacology and translational value of electrophysiological activity, and the use  of biosignals for improved human-machine interfaces and a web-based platform for  diagnosis of CNS conditions in humans.

Specifically, the first presentation by Nadine Becker and Matt Jones (University of Bristol,  UK) explores how spatial information acquired in a T-maze task is encoded in firing  patterns of cortical and hippocampal areas, monitored in rats via chronically implanted  electrode arrays, and discusses how area- and task-component-specific firing patterns can  be monitored and deciphered, and what this implies for our understanding of cognitive  processes in specific brain areas.

The second presentation by Valter Tucci (Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy)  investigates how genetic variables determine biological clocks and how information is  time-stamped in the mouse brain. He will discuss the interplay between different time- keeping mechanisms on the basis of mouse models with mutations of clock genes, and  how these affect the ability to time intervals at different timescales, related to sleep,  circadian rhythms and an experimental timing task. Behavioural analysis was combined  with long-term electrophysiological measures in the home-cage and uncovered close  relations between timing behaviors and sleep physiology.

The third presentation by Lianne Robinson and Gernot Riedel (University of Aberdeen,  UK), embarks on pharmacological aspects of electrophysiological and behavioural profiles  recorded in chronically implanted rodents. The talk will explore how sleep-wake cycles, and  vigilance stage-specific EEG parameters, are affected by cannabinoids in mice and rats, and  how this can be exploited for cognitive and therapeutic research. Continuing with this line of research, Karsten Wicke (Abbott GmbH & Co KG, Ludwigshafen,  Germany) will present results from rat sleep EEG recordings that represent a back- translation from clinical human data to preclinical experiments and are used as a predictive translational model for the clinical potential of new pharmacological mechanisms. The  antidepressants potential of drugs affecting the glutamatergic system will be discussed.

The remaining two presentations venture further into human and clinically oriented  applications. Felix Putze and Tanja Schultz (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) will  present developments in the area of ‘cognitive technical systems’, which utilises a range of  biosignals emitted from the human body such as EEG and muscle activity. These signals are  measured and interpreted by machines and offer an inside perspective on human mental  activities, intentions, or needs and thus complements the traditional way of observing  humans from the outside.

Current and future applications for this technology will be  discussed. Finally, Björn Crüts (BrainMarker, The Netherlands) will introduce an internet-based  platform for qEEG-based diagnosis of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. He  will focus particularly on examples regarding EEG markers for depression and respective  treatments, to explain how their database and algorithms aid diagnosis and therapeutic  applications in hospitals. Together, these presentations span a wide range of technical and methodical approaches  and their applications, and thus provide an exciting overview of a currently booming are of  research and development.


10:00   Neural Correlates of a Spatial Learning Task in Parietal Cortex, Prefrontal Cortex  and Hippocampus
  N. Becker, and M.W. Jones
  University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

10:20   Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Interval Timing
  Valter Tucci
  Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.

10:40  Coffee Break

11:10  Modulation of Sleep-Wake Cycles in Mice and Rats with Cannabinoids  
  L. Robinson, A. Plano, A. Goonawardena, B. Platt, and G. Riedel
  University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.

11:30  NMDA Receptor Antagonists Induce Antidepressant-like Sleep Changes: A 
  Translational Model from Rats to Humans?
  K.M. Wicke, and G. Gross
  Neuroscience Research, GPRD, Abbott GmbH & Co KG, Ludwigshafen, Germany.

11:50   Cognitive Technical Systems
  Felix Putze, and Tanja Schultz
  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.

12:10  Quantitative EEG for the diagnosis of disease states
  Björn Crüts (1), and Pascal Römkens (2) 
  1 Brainmarker BV, Gulpen, The Netherlands. 
  2 Atrium Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

12:30  End of session