Along with educational programs the Department is involved in several scientific projects carried out in the research laboratories of UNN, IAP RAS and Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy (NNSMA). Their main goal is to get a fundamental knowledge on principles and mechanisms of signaling in neuronal and glial cells in the brain. Experimental research is carried in two laboratories: Neuromimmetic information systems and neurodynamics laboratory in UNN and Laboratory of Cellular technologies in NNSMA. Both laboratories are equipped with modern experimental setups including confocal and two-photon imaging system based on Zeiss LSM-510 NLO DuoScan, visualized patch-clamp elctrophysiogical system based on microscope Olympus BX51WI with fast CCD camera NeuroSMQ (RedShirtImaging, USA) and the system for multielectrode recordings of field potentials, MED64 (Alpha Med Sciences, Japan). The research includes the following directions:
- Optical neuroimaging (investigation of brain cells activity using fluorescent microscopy)
- Cellular and network electrophysiology (patch-clamp recordings, registration of multisite field potentials in slices and cellular cultures)
- Investigation of mechanisms of synaptic and extra-synaptic signal transmission in the brain. Synaptic plasticity.
- Role of cellular mechanisms in cognitive functions: learning, memory, emotions, etc.
- Modeling information processing functions in neuron-glial brain circuits (spiking patterns, associative memory, information encoding and decoding).
- The development of neuromimetic information processing systems (neuroanimats).
Ongoing research projects
- Imaging calcium activity of astrocytes in hippocampal slices and the analysis of their modifications due to neuronal activity
- Identification and analysis of calcium signals in hippocampal astrocytic network using experimental data of fluorescent imaging of hippocampal slices
- Modeling activity patterns in network of astrocytes
- Modeling neuron-glia interaction and regulation of neuronal signal processing by activation of astrocytic network
- Identifying "sources" of spike synchronization in network of synaptically connected neurons by the analysis of experimental and model spike trains
- Generation of spike sequences in model neuronal networks with axonal delays
- Application of spiking patterns to control and navigate neuroanimates
- Modeling associative memory, information retrieval and recognition processes by synaptically coupled oscillatory neuronal networks
- Dynamic regimes of sensor information transformation in the three interconnected homogeneous neuron-like systems