Neuronal Circuitry and Systems

Research on neural circuitry and systems at CSU spans a wide range of spatial scales, from the synapse level (Rash, Vigh) through interregional connections (Cleary, Hentges, Seger), and a wide variety of methods, including anterograde and retrograde tracers (Hentges, Rash), electrophysiology (Hentges, Vigh) and magnetic resonance imaging (Cleary, Seger).


Cleary: We study human memory and its dependence on the medial temporal lobe system using behavioral and functional MRI techniques.

Cleary AM. Recognition memory, familiarity, and deja vu experiences. Curr Directions Psychological Sci 17, 353-357 (2008)


Hentges: A primary focus of our lab is to gain a better understanding of the neural circuits that regulate energy balance.  We use electrophysiology to examine properties of neurons in the hypothalamus and retrograding labeling to determine where specific groups of neurons project to.

Hentges ST.  Synaptic regulation of proopiomelanocortin neurons can occur distal to the arcuate nucleus. J Neurophysiol  97, 3298-3304 (2007).  

Hentges ST, Nishiyama M, Overstreet LS, Stenzel-Poore M, Williams JT, Low MJ.  GABA release from proopiomelanocortin neurons. J Neurosci 24,1578-1583 (2004).


Rash: Using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL) electron microscopy, we are investigating the composition and connectivities of neuronal gap junctions in mouse, rat, and human retina.

Kamasawa N, Furman CS, Davidson KGV, Sampson JA, Magnie AR, Gebhardt B, Kamasawa M, Morita M, Yasumura T, Pieper M, Zumbrunnen JR, Pickard GE, Nagy JI, Rash JE. Abundance and ultrastructural diversity of neuronal gap junctions in the OFF and ON sublaminae of the inner plexiform layer of rat and mouse retina. Neuroscience 142, 1093-1117 (2006).

Li XKamasawa NCiolofan COlson COLu SDavidson KGYasumura TShigemoto RRash JENagy JI. Connexin45-containing neuronal gap junctions in rodent retina also contain connexin36 in both apposing hemiplaques, forming bi-homotypic gap junctions, with scaffolding contributed by zonula occludens-1. J. Neurosci28, 9769-9789 (2008).


Seger: Research in our lab focuses on the human corticostriatal system.  We use functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging to examine anatomical and functional connections between the basal ganglia and cortex.

Seger CA, Cincotta CM.  Dynamics of frontal, striatal, and hippocampal systems in rule learning.  Cerebral Cortex 16, 1546-1555 (2006)

Seger CA. The involvement of corticostriatal loops in learning across tasks, species, and methodologies.   Basal Ganglia IX: Proceedings of the International Basal Ganglia Society. Adv. Behavioral Biol.  Springer Publishers (2009).


Vigh: We study visual information processing in the retina. We are currently focusing on how inhibitory synapses in the inner retina influence visual signal processing.  We are also interested in the role of opiod signalling in the retina. These investigations combine imunnohistochemistry, patch-clamp electrophysiology and neuropharmacology.

Vigh J, von Gersdorff H. Prolonged reciprocal signaling via NMDA and GABA receptors at a retinal ribbon synapse. J Neurosci.  25, 11412-11423 (2005).

Li G-L, Vigh J, von Gersdorff H. Short-term depression at the reciprocal synapses between a retinal bipolar cell terminal and amacrine cells. J Neurosci27, 7377-7385 (2007).