Workshop 1

Function-structure relationship in microcircuitry

Chair: Keiji Tanaka

Speakers: Yasuo Kawaguchi, Carl Petersen, and Harald Luksch

WS1 imageThe most prominent characteristic of the nervous system is its deep hierarchical structure. Development of molecular techniques, including those of gene manipulation, has brought about extensive knowledge at the molecular and cellular levels. System level studies have also considerably expanded partly due to the spread of non-invasive brain activity measurement methods, including fMRI. Studies at the circuit level, which should play an essential role in relating the extensive knowledge at the molecular-cellular levels to functions at the system level and eventually to the behavior of individuals, however, have remained relatively undeveloped partly due to the lack of suitable technologies. However, several relevant technologies have finally appeared: cell-type specific gene introduction, two-photon imaging and so on. This workshop will discuss how neurons and glial cells, together with their rich molecular functions, interact in cellular networks to let new levels of functions emerge, and also how these network functions are used in the behavior of individuals.