(Thursday) 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Room 46-3002 (Singleton Auditorium)
43 Vassar St Room 46-3002, Cambridge, MA 02139
The prefrontal cortex play keys roles in numerous diverse aspects of behavior and cognition, ranging from executive functions such as attention, working memory, and cognitive control, to affective behaviors related to depression and anxiety. Correspondingly, dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex is a major feature of numerous neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we will describe ways in which GABAergic interneurons contribute to synchronized, rhythmic patterns of activity that enable prefrontal circuits to perform specific functions. First, I will describe recently published work showing that parvalbumin (PV) interneuron-driven gamma oscillations in the prefrontal cortex play a key role in cognitive flexibility. Then, I will discuss how other interneuron subtypes may regulate theta-frequency oscillations, thereby modulating interactions between the prefrontal cortex and other components of a distributed anxiety network.
Vikaas Sohal, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California – San Francisco. Dr. Sohal’s research focuses on the prefrontal cortex, in particular (1) how the properties of individual prefrontal neurons, their inputs, and their interconnections give rise to emergent patterns of circuit activity, and (2) how these patterns of activity contribute to both normal cognition and the pathological behaviors associated with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Dr. Sohal carries out studies at multiple levels ranging from brain slices to freely behaving animals, and using a combination of techniques including optogenetics, computational modeling, whole cell recording, calcium imaging, EEG and LFP recording, and sophisticated behavioral assays. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who treats patients with related disorders, particularly schizophrenia.
The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Alik Widge, PhD