ELSC Seminar: John Welsh - Dec. 28th, 2017 at 17:00

December 28, 2017

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by: 


Prof. John Welsh 

Department of Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Center for integrative Brain Research


On the topic of: 

“Implications of electrical synapse plasticity in the inferior olive”


The lecture will be held on Thursday, December 28th, at 17:00

at ELSC: Silberman Bldg., 3rd Wing, 6th Floor,

 Edmond J. Safra Campus 


Light refreshments at 16:45


Neurons of the inferior olive (IO) are electrically coupled and show subthreshold oscillations in membrane potential (STOs) that enhance spike synchrony. Spike synchrony among IO neurons is relevant for the fine temporal control of movement and the activation of muscles as collectives – or as “muscle synergies” – during complex movements. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that STOs are an emergent property of the IO network enabled by weak, but prevalent, electrical coupling. We have demonstrated NMDA receptor-mediated strengthening of electrical coupling between IO neurons that synchronizes STOs and increases their amplitude. We argue that: 1) weak electrical coupling in the IO makes available a wide dynamic range upon which a strengthening process can upwardly modulate STO amplitude and synchrony in order to permit spike synchrony; and 2) the upward modulation of STO amplitude and synchrony by NMDA-receptor mediated strengthening of electrical synapses may underlie the ability to acquire, through motor learning, the highest degree of temporal precision of synergistic muscle activity during skilled movement.