Somatosensory Module


In this cycle we will explore sensory coding in the rodent vibrissa (whisker) tactile sensory system through a broad range of techniques and experimental designs.  Two rigs will focus on activity in primary somatosensory (“barrel”) cortex of anesthetized rats during vibrissa or cortical electrical stimulation, using in vivo whole cell recordings of synaptic and spiking responses in rat.  Two other rigs will investigate neural activity in the thalamus and cortex using whole-cell and juxtacellular recording approaches.

Somatosensory Module Faculty and Teaching Assistants

BrechtMichael Brecht
Humboldt University Berlin

We pursue research questions from a strictly systemic, neuroethological perspective. We pose a wide range of questions to understand better the systemic performance of active touch mediated by the vibrissae. We therefore investigate multiple brain structures and our investigations range from intracellular recordings to the analysis of behavioral performance. Michael has been an NS&B faculty member in 2006-2008 and since 2014.



11074718_1510925989229562_732329435708949358_nAnn Clemens
Humboldt University Berlin

I am interested in how socio-sexual behavior is represented in the brain at a cell physiological level. In my current research project, I am investigating how hormonal fluctuations in female rats influence cortical activity and the cellular response to social facial touch. Ann joined the somatosensory team in 2016.