OpatzLab Developmental Neurophysiology

Developmental neurophysiology

The rhythm and melody of a piece of music is only conveyed successfully by an orchestra when each note is precisely timed, and when each instruments’ „voice“ is synchronized. The brain can also be considered an orchestra, with different brain regions representing „instruments“ and each neuron being a precisely time note. As in an orchestra, these components must coordinate their parts to create a meaningful „melody.“ Network oscillations have gained interest as an energy-efficient strategy for the organization and communication both within and between brain regions. In humans and animals oscillatory brain activity emerges very early in life, being already present in utero. While it is now known that these oscillations actively contribute to sensory perception and cognition in the adult brain, their function during development is still largely unknown.
Our group aims at elucidating the mechanisms underlying the maturation of neuronal networks under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In particular, we assess the role of early network oscillations for the development of local and long-range communication in the brain in relationship with the emergence of cognitive behavior and multisensory perception. For this, we combine state-of-the-art electrophysiological methods and optogenetics with imaging and behavioral assessment. The following main topics are currently being investigated:

• Development of neuronal networks accounting for cognitive processing

• Dysfunction of neuronal networks and their early oscillations under pathological conditions (e.g. neuropsychiatric disorders, perinatal hypoxia-ischemia, perinatal stress)

• Sensory control of the maturation of cognitive processing

• Uni- and multisensory processing and ontogeny

• Development of neuro-immune cross talk and its role for pathologies later in life

Latest Publications

  • We are happy to share our latest publication on Current Biology

    In neonatal rodents, olfaction is already functional and more mature than the other senses. By silencing the outputs of olfactory bulb in the early postnatal days of mice, we found that the transient suppression of olfactory output led to a long-lasting reduction of oscillatory coupling in the downstream entorhinal-hippocampal networks and poor performance in cognitive […]read more

Open Positions

Newest Tweets

Could not authenticate you.
Opatz Lab
Developmental Neurophysiology