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Dr Thomas Mrsic-Flogel


Personal Profile

Name: Thomas Mrsic-Flogel Email: t.mrsic-flogel@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 020 7679 6335
Department: Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology Fax:
Position: Honorary Reader Address: Rockefeller Building, 21 University Street, London, WC1E 6DE
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Biomedical Imaging (Frontier Disciplines), Experimental Medicine, Neuroscience, Personalised Medicine Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

By taking advantage of the most recent advances in two-photon microscopy, the research in my lab addresses three broad aims, with a particular focus on the function, development and plasticity of primary visual cortex: 1) to understand how cortical neuronal networks encode visual information, 2) to understand how they become specialised for sensory processing during postnatal development, and 3) to investigate how experiences influence the structure and function of cortical circuits. We use in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to record activity simultaneously from hundreds of neurons in visual cortex while showing different visual stimuli. This approach enables us to characterise in detail how neuronal activity is distributed in space and time within a cortical column and how individual neurons and neuronal subsets interact within a large cortical network in response to visual stimuli. We investigate the maturation of cortical network function after the onset of vision and assess the role of visual experience in this process. We are now aiming to correlate population responses with the behavior of the animal, in order to understand how network activity relates to the animal's perception. Moreover, genetic labeling of different neuronal subtypes allows us to address the role of different cell classes in sensory processing. Finally, by means of high-resolution two-photon time-lapse imaging of individual synapses (dendritic spines) over the course of days to weeks, we can visualize how synaptic connectivity changes during development, during novel sensory experiences and after learning. Together, this knowledge will contribute to our understanding of how circuits in the cerebral cortex processes sensory information and how they adapt to an ever changing environment.

Research Activities

Digital Biology

The impact of cellular learning rules on information storage and on the organization of functional connectivity in neocortical circuits

experience-dependent cortical plasticity, circuits underlying sensory processing and behaviour

Education Description

UCL Collaborators

Prof Angus Silver; Prof Bernard Buxton; Prof Buzz Baum; Dr Peter Bentley; Dr Beau Lotto; Prof Adam Sillito; Prof Mark Lythgoe; Prof Steven Dakin; Prof Michael Hausser

External Collaborators



    • Ko H, Cossell L, Baragli C, Antolik J, Clopath C, Hofer SB, Mrsic-Flogel TD (2013). The emergence of functional microcircuits in visual cortex.. Nature, 496(7443), 96 - 100. doi:10.1038/nature12015


    • Mrsic-Flogel TD, Bonhoeffer T (2012). Neuroscience: Sibling neurons bond to share sensations.. Nature, 486(7401), 41 - 42. doi:10.1038/486041a


    • Hofer SB, Ko H, Pichler B, Vogelstein J, Ros H, Zeng H, Lein E, Lesica NA, Mrsic-Flogel TD (2011). Differential connectivity and response dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in visual cortex.. Nat Neurosci, 14(8), 1045 - 1052. doi:10.1038/nn.2876
    • Ko H, Hofer SB, Pichler B, Buchanan KA, Sjöström PJ, Mrsic-Flogel TD (2011). Functional specificity of local synaptic connections in neocortical networks.. Nature, 473(7345), 87 - 91. doi:10.1038/nature09880


    • Hofer SB, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Horvath D, Grothe B, Lesica NA (2010). Optimization of population decoding with distance metrics.. Neural Netw, 23(6), 728 - 732. doi:10.1016/j.neunet.2010.04.007


    • Holtmaat A, Bonhoeffer T, Chow DK, Chuckowree J, De Paola V, Hofer SB, Hübener M, Keck T, Knott G, Lee WC, Mostany R, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Nedivi E, Portera-Cailliau C, Svoboda K, Trachtenberg JT, Wilbrecht L (2009). Long-term, high-resolution imaging in the mouse neocortex through a chronic cranial window.. Nat Protoc, 4(8), 1128 - 1144. doi:10.1038/nprot.2009.89
    • Hofer SB, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Bonhoeffer T, Hübener M (2009). Experience leaves a lasting structural trace in cortical circuits.. Nature, 457(7227), 313 - 317. doi:10.1038/nature07487


    • Mank M, Santos AF, Direnberger S, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Hofer SB, Stein V, Hendel T, Reiff DF, Levelt C, Borst A, Bonhoeffer T, Hübener M, Griesbeck O (2008). A genetically encoded calcium indicator for chronic in vivo two-photon imaging.. Nat Methods, 5(9), 805 - 811. doi:10.1038/nmeth.1243
    • Keck T, Mrsic-Flogel TD, Vaz Afonso M, Eysel UT, Bonhoeffer T, Hübener M (2008). Massive restructuring of neuronal circuits during functional reorganization of adult visual cortex.. Nat Neurosci, 11(10), 1162 - 1167. doi:10.1038/nn.2181


    • Rawlins N, Akerman CJ, Andolina I, Blakemore SJ, Mrsic-Flogel T, Attwell D (2000). Four-year PhDs in neuroscience: an assessment after four years. Trends in Neurosciences, 23(7), 280 - 283.