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Neuroscience track core course

Instructor: Jozsef Csicsvari, Simon Hippenmeyer, Peter Jonas, Gaia Novarino

Teaching Assistant: tbd



Module 1, Peter Jonas: “GABAergic interneurons: from cellular design to microcircuit function“

Neuronal networks are comprised of two classes of neurons: Excitatory principal neurons and inhibitory interneurons. Although interneurons, which release the inhibitory transmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), numerically represent only approximately 10% of the neuronal population, they control key aspects of neuronal network function. For example, they play a key role in feedback inhibition, feedforward inhibition, generation of rhythmic activity in the brain, neuronal gain control, and pattern separation. GABAergic interneurons are highly diverse, with 21 different subtypes described in the hippocampal CA1 region (Klausberger and Somogyi, 2008), and probably even larger numbers of subtypes in the neocortex. Recent work has elucidated the cellular properties, molecular characteristics, and network function of several types of GABAergic interneurons. In this module on GABAergic interneuron function, the following aspects will be covered:

- Interneuron subtypes and selective markers (basket cells, axo-axonic cells, dendrite-targeting cells).

- Function of interneurons in feedforward and feedback microcircuits.

- Mutual inhibition.

- Hyperpolarizing versus shunting inhibition.

- Action potential phenotype and potassium channel properties of GABAergic interneurons.

- Analysis of microcircuit function of GABAergic interneurons by optogenetics.

- Role of GABAergic interneurons in gamma oscillations.

- Interneuropathies: Role of interneurons in epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.

- Models of interneurons and interneuron networks.


Cardin JA, Carlén M, Meletis K, Knoblich U, Zhang F, Deisseroth K, Tsai LH, Moore CI. Driving fast-spiking cells induces gamma rhythm and controls sensory responses. Nature. 2009 Jun 4;459(7247):663-7.

Hu H, Gan J, Jonas P. Interneurons. Fast-spiking, parvalbumin⁺ GABAergic interneurons: from cellular design to microcircuit function. Science. 2014 Aug 1;345(6196):1255263.

Klausberger T, Somogyi P. Neuronal diversity and temporal dynamics: the unity of hippocampal circuit operations. Science. 2008 Jul 4;321(5885):53-7.






Final Grade






Schedule (subject to change)

Date Topic Location
Week 1 (February 29 & March 2) Introduction into concepts Mondi 3
Week 2 (March 9) Day in the lab:Experimental analysis of GABAergic interneuron function Lab Building East, 2nd floor
Week 3 (March 14 & 16) Quantitative data analysis and modeling of GABAergic interneuron function, including analysis of morphological properties Mondi 3

Reading List

Title PDF
Allen K, Rawlins JNP, Bannerman DM, Csicsvari J (2012) Hippocampal Place Cells Can Encode Multiple Trial-Dependent Features through Rate Remapping. J Neurosci 32:14752–14766
Barnes CA, Suster MS, Shen J, McNaughton BL (1997) Multistability of cognitive maps in the hippocampus of old rats. Nature 388:272–275
Brun VH, Leutgeb S, Wu HQ, Schwarcz R, Witter MP, Moser EI, Moser MB (2008) Impaired spatial representation in CA1 after lesion of direct input from entorhinal cortex. Neuron 57:290–302
Brun VH, Otnass MK, Molden S, Steffenach HA, Witter MP, Moser MB, Moser EI (2002) Place cells and place recognition maintained by direct entorhinal-hippocampal circuitry. Science 296:2243–2246.
Davidson TJ, Kloosterman F, Wilson MA (2009) Hippocampal Replay of Extended Experience. Neuron 63:497–507.
Dupret D, O’Neill J, Pleydell-Bouverie B, Csicsvari J (2010) The reorganization and reactivation of hippocampal maps predict spatial memory performance. NatNeurosci 13:995–1002.
Fyhn M, Hafting T, Treves A, Moser MB, Moser EI (2007) Hippocampal remapping and grid realignment in entorhinal cortex. Nature 446:190–194.
Hafting T, Fyhn M, Molden S, Moser MB, Moser EI (2005) Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex. Nature 436:801–806.
Huxter J, Burgess N, O’Keefe J (2003) Independent rate and temporal coding in hippocampal pyramidal cells. Nature 425:828–832.
Huxter JR, Senior TJ, Allen K, Csicsvari J (2008) Theta phase-specific codes for two-dimensional position, trajectory and heading in the hippocampus. NatNeurosci 11:587–594.
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Lee AK, Wilson MA (2002) Memory of sequential experience in the hippocampus during slow wave sleep. Neuron 36:1183–1194.
Leutgeb S, Leutgeb JK, Barnes CA, Moser EI, McNaughton BL, Moser MB (2005) Independent codes for spatial and episodic memory in hippocampal neuronal ensembles. Science 309:619–623.
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Muller R (1996) A quarter of a century of place cells. Neuron 17:813–822.
Muller RU, Kubie JL (1987) The effects of changes in the environment on the spatial firing of hippocampal complex-spike cells. JNeurosci 7:1951–1968.  
O’Keefe J, Recce ML (1993) Phase relationship between hippocampal place units and the EEG theta rhythm. Hippocampus 3:317–330.
O’Neill J, Pleydell-Bouverie B, Dupret D, Csicsvari J (2010) Play it again: reactivation of waking experience and memory. Trends Neurosci 33:220–229.
Solstad T, Boccara CN, Kropff E, Moser M-B, Moser EI (2008) Representation of geometric borders in the entorhinal cortex. Science 322:1865–1868.
Stensola H, Stensola T, Solstad T, Frøland K, Moser M-B, Moser EI (2012) The entorhinal grid map is discretized. Nature 492:72–78.
Wills TJ, Lever C, Cacucci F, Burgess N, O’Keefe J (2005) Attractor dynamics in the hippocampal representation of the local environment. Science 308:873–876.
Wilson MA, McNaughton BL (1994) Reactivation of hippocampal ensemble memories during sleep. Science 265:676–679.
Wood ER, Dudchenko PA, Robitsek RJ, Eichenbaum H (2000) Hippocampal neurons encode information about different types of memory episodes occurring in the same location. Neuron 27:623–633.
Geva-Sagiv, M., Romani, S., Las, L. & Ulanovsky, N. Hippocampal global remapping for different sensory modalities in flying bats. Nat. Neurosci. (2016).

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