Synaptic mechanisms and signal processing

Professor Angus Silver
Professor of Neuroscience and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7830
Members: listing


Neuroscience research in the SilverLab focuses on discovering how neural systems represent and process sensory and motor information. We investigate the properties of information processing in the cerebellum and neocortex together with the underlying mechanisms. At the finest spatial scale we study vesicle supply and release, since these ultimately set the rate at which information can be transmitted from one neuron to the next. At the level of a single neuron we investigate how synaptic and dendritic properties shape the mathematical operations that can be performed on incoming signals. While at the network level we study how network structure influences function and how electrical and chemical synaptic signalling governs the spatio-temporal properties of information processing in defined microcircuits. We take a highly multidisciplinary approach to investigate these questions, combining a wide range of electrophysiological, anatomical, optogenetic and imaging methods in vitro and in vivo with advanced analysis and mathematical modelling. We also develop new tools for neuroscience research, including an ultra-fast Acousto-Optic Lens (AOL) two-photon microscopes that can perform 3D random access imaging, allowing us to measure spatially distributed signalling in synapses, neurons and networks deep within brain tissue. The SilverLab also combines computer science and neuroscience to develop and maintain a wide range of software packages and resources for modeling and analysing neural systems.