Please RT: Immediate Postdoctoral Fellowship Vacancy in Behavioural Neurophysiology at Trinity College Dublin

Wellcome Trust-Funded Project focused on freely-moving recordings in vivo. Exciting, scientifically compelling and mature project, with plenty of room for development. Experience of electrophysiology/neurophysiology is essential; experience in freely-moving recordings is desirable. The ideal candidate will possess high levels of intellectual curiosity, drive and motivation. Fully equipped lab with ample technical and analytic back-up. The… Read More

The irregular firing properties of thalamic head direction cells mediate turn-specific modulation of the directional tuning curve

Take-home message: Anterior thalamic head direction cells are interesting in all sorts of ways. Here, we show that head direction cells remain active during sleep (how interesting is that?!), replicate the finding that these cells fire at different rates depending on whether the head makes clockwise or counterclockwise movements, and that the origin of this difference might… Read More

Nucleus reuniens of the thalamus contains head direction cells | eLife

Nucleus reuniens of the thalamus contains head direction cells | eLife. Maciej M Jankowski, Md Nurul Islam, Nicholas F Wright, Seralynne D Vann, Jonathan T Erichsen, John P Aggleton, Shane M O’Mara DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03075 Cite as eLife 2014;10.7554/eLife.03075 Abstract Discrete populations of brain cells signal heading direction, rather like a compass. These ‘head direction’ cells… Read More

Hellraiser, sadomasochism, distributed and dismembered consciousness, and the brain’s experience of pain

[My book ‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation’ (Harvard UP) can be preordered from Amazon (.com) – more details at end of post] Horror films sometimes feature scenes of extreme torture, as well as sadism and sadomasochism (and especially the  subgenre known as “torture porn”, which we will ignore here). I will focus on one horror film –… Read More

Oscillatory entrainment of thalamic neurons by theta rhythm in freely moving rats.

Take-home message: The thalamus plays a key role in  learning and memory. However, the neurons of the anteroventral nucleus have not been characterised in vivo. Here, we provide a framework for the classification of neuron type, based on their electrophysiological phenotype, and show that many of these cells are theta-modulated (a strong 7-12 Hz oscillation in the EEG, studied most frequently in… Read More

Theta-modulated head direction cells in the rat anterior thalamus.

Take-home message – two key findings: (1) there are head-direction cells in the anteroventral thalamus (head direction cells fire when the head is pointed in a particular orientation); (2) a large fraction of these cells are theta-modulated (a strong 7-12 Hz oscillation in the EEG, studied most frequently in the hippocampal formation). These data are interesting because they suggests that the anterior thalamus… Read More

Hippocampal-anterior thalamic pathways for memory: uncovering a network of direct and indirect actions.

Our major theoretical take and review of the extended brain systems that support explicit, declarative memory in the brain. [Download the paper.] Take-home message: there’s a lot more to memory than the hippocampal formation, and you forget (!) the connected thalamic structures at your peril, because the anterior thalamus provides a subcortical circuit supporting memory and spatial… Read More

The anterior thalamus provides a subcortical circuit supporting memory and spatial navigation.

The anterior thalamus provides a subcortical circuit supporting memory and spatial navigation. Front Syst Neurosci. 2013 Aug 30;7:45. Jankowski MM, Ronnqvist KC, Tsanov M, Vann SD, Wright NF, Erichsen JT, Aggleton JP, O’Mara SM. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin Dublin 2, Ireland. Abstract The anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN), a central component of Papez‘ circuit, are generally assumed to be key… Read More