Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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BCCN AG-Seminar

Tuesday, 09.09.2008 17 c.t.

Periodic synaptic excitation from hair cells triggers background spikes in afferent neurons of the isolated frog sacculus

by Dr. Mark Rutherford
from Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA

Contact person: Fred Wolf


Seminarraum Haus 2, 4. Stock (Bunsenstr.)


In this talk I will introduce the frog sacculus as an organ with both "auditory" and "vestibular" properties. Electrophysiological data from hair cells and afferent neurons allow us to draw conclusions about cellular mechanisms underlying background and evoked activity patterns. With whole-cell current clamp and voltage clamp data, I will relate heterogeneity of hair cell electrophysiology to bundle and somatic morphology, cellular position within the sensory epithelium, and calcium buffer expression. With extracellular and intracellular recordings in the postsynaptic neurons we will explore the correlation between presynaptic and postsynaptic activity patterns. Finally, I will provide a hypothesis to explain how the frog sacculus may mediate sensitivity to slow body movements/static head position as well as acoustic frequencies.

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