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Recurrent problems in spinal-cord and cerebellar circuits

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dervila Glynn.

Theme: Neurons, Circuits & Networks

One of the best established recurrent inhibitory pathways is the recurrent inhibition of mammalian motoneurons through Renshaw cells. Golgi cells form an inhibitory feedback circuit in the granular layer of cerebellum. Feedback inhibitory pathways are long established “textbook” elements of neural circuitry, but in both cases their functional role has not been well established. Here I will present some new observations on the function of recurrent inhibition in the spinal-cord, supporting the idea that this connection frequency tunes transmission of inputs through motoneurons. Secondly, I will discuss evidence that the function of Golgi cells is much more complex than classical studies based on circuit connectivity suggest.

Steve is a Reader in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience and a Fellow of St John’s College. His lab is interested in how movements are controlled by neural circuits. Our everyday movements are performed with little conscious thought and are remarkably precise. Despite what the textbooks tell you, the neural mechanisms by which this is accomplished are poorly understood. We work at several levels, particularly at the spinal cord and cerebellum.

His work involves electrophysiology, recording and analysing the signals neurons use to talk to each other. Most current work relates to the cerebellum, which has a well defined circuitry, and how it contributes to a learning process that ‘automates’ movements.

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