Zurich Brain Research Institute

The Brain Research Institute ("Hifo") is a neuroscience research center in the medical faculty of the University of Zurich.

The four laboratories on neural circuit dynamics, neural plasticity, neuroepigenetics, and neural regeneration and repair focus on basic research topics ranging from molecular and cellular processes to network functions in the nervous system. The main areas of investigation concern the ability of the central nervous system to learn new information and to regenerate after injury, the mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission, plasticity and synapses formation.

Fritjof Helmchen, PhD – Zurich

Professor, Departement of Neurophysiology, Zurich Brain Research Institute
Director, Laboratory of Neural Circuit Dynamics

Helmchen is characterizing the properties of individual neurons in vivo and investigate how synaptic inputs are integrated in their dendrites to eventually cause action potentials that are transmitted to target neurons. Using in vivo electrophysiology and 2-photon imaging we perform both intracellular recordings from individual neurons as well as optical measurements of population activity.

Laboratory of Neural Circuit Dynamics – Zurich

Principal Investigator: Fritjof Helmchen
Zurich Brain Research Institute

To study neural circuit function our research is focused on advancing and applying in vivo high-resolution imaging methods, with a particular emphasis on neocortical microcircuitry. The lab's specific goals are to reveal principles of single-cell and local network computation and to decipher the neural codes governing information processing as well as circuit plasticity.

Multi-area two-photon microscopy

Principal Investigator: Fritjof Helmchen
Zurich Brain Research Institute
Title: "Multi-area two-photon microscopy for revealing long-distance communication between multiple local brain circuits"
BRAIN Category: Large-Scale Recording-Modulation – Optimization (RFA NS-14-008)

Dr. Helmchen and his colleagues propose a system to simultaneously record neuronal activity in four different areas of the neocortex and discover how brain cells in different regions interact during specific behaviors.

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