Weak Electrical Fields in the Brain Help Neurons Fire Together

February 03, 2011

Costas Anastassiou, a postdoctoral scholar working with Professor Christof Koch, and colleagues have found that coordinated behavior occurs in the brain whether or not neurons are actually connected via synapses.  To tease out the effects, Anastassiou and his colleagues, focused on strong but slowly oscillating fields, called local field potentials (LFP), that arise from neural circuits composed of just a few rat brain cells.  Measuring those fields and their effects required positioning a cluster of tiny electrodes within a volume equivalent to that of a single cell body—and at distances of less than 50 millionths of a meter from one another. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: EE research highlights health Christof Koch Costas Anastassiou postdocs

Joint first authors of the paper Rodrigo Perin (on the left) and Costas Anastassiou (on the right) in front of the electrophysiological instrument used for the experiments.

Joint first authors of the paper Rodrigo Perin (on the left) and Costas Anastassiou (on the right) in front of the electrophysiological instrument used for the experiments.