During the lunch of the 13th of June, the next lunch lecture will take place. Dr. Alexander Heimel, head of the Cortical Structure and Function department of the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience will give a talk about, among other things, techniques used to probe brain functions in living organisms. In lecture hall E (F005) in the TN building, between 12:45-13:45, you can enjoy a free lunch and this very interesting lecture.
And as a foretaste, the abstract of his talk:
Microscopes were used to study dead brains. For studying the living brain, one needed electrodes or fMRI scanners. With the introduction of fluorescent proteins in the neuroscientist’s toolkit, this has changed completely. Microscopes started being used to witness the structural changes in the living brain. Recently, the coupling of activity markers to the fluorescent proteins made it possible to see the activity of individual brain cells, not one at the time, but hundreds to thousands simultaneously. At the same time, the arrival of light-activated receptors and ion channels made it possible to manipulate brain activity by light at the single neuron level. This talk will highlight examples of how light is now used to probe animal brain function to an extent that was previously just unimaginable, and how this is bringing new insight into understanding the mind.