My long term
research goal is to understand the basic mechanisms by which neurons process
sensory information. While critical for diagnostic and treatment of sensory
deficiencies, these mechanisms are poorly understood to this day. Since
sensory processing strategies are shared amongst sensory systems,
significant progress towards this goal can be achieved by studying the
somewhat simpler sensory systems of lower vertebrates. These animals respond
to simple natural stimuli with obvious behavioral relevance and share common
brain architecture with higher vertebrates including humans. We use a
combination of behavior, in vivo electrophysiology, and modeling to link
cellular processes to sensory processing at the systems level as well as
behavior in weakly electric fish. Research projects are on diverse topics
such as: learning and memory, population coding of sensory input, feedback,
Chacron, M.J. (2006). Nonlinear Information Processing in a Model
Sensory System. Journal of Neurophysiology 95: 2933-2946.
Chacron, M.J., Maler, L., Bastian, J. (2005). Electroreceptor Neuron
Dynamics Shape Information Transmission. Nature Neuroscience 8: 673-678.
Chacron, M.J., Maler, L., Bastian, J. (2005). Feedback and Feedforward
Control of Frequency Tuning to Naturalistic Stimuli. Journal of Neuroscience
Bastian, J., Chacron, M.J., Maler, L. (2004). Plastic and Non-Plastic
Pyramidal Cells Perform Unique Roles in a Network Capable of Adaptive
Redundancy Reduction. Neuron 41: 767-779.
Oswald, A.M.M., Chacron, M.J., Doiron, B., Bastian, J., Maler, L. (2004).
Parallel Processing of Sensory Input by Bursts and Isolated Spikes.
Journal of Neuroscience 24: 4351-4362.
Chacron, M.J., Lindner, B., Longtin, A. (2004). Noise Shaping by
Interspike Interval Correlations Increases Information Transfer. Physical
Review Letters 92: 080601.
M.J., Doiron, B., Maler, L., Longtin, A., Bastian, J. (2003). Non-classical receptive field mediates switch in a sensory neuron’s
frequency tuning. Nature 423: 77-81.
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