Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology

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Mechanisms generating specific rhythms in the brain in health and disease

Numerous self-organized rhythms are present in the brain in distinct cortical networks, in particular in those implicated in cognitive functions. One of these rhythms is the theta rhythm, which represents one of the most prominent synchronous signals of the mammalian brain. This rhythm can be recorded across several brain regions and is very pronounced in the hippocampus. There is evidence that the theta rhythm is involved in packaging and segmentation of neuronal information. Thereby, it contributes to information processing in the brain and to the organization of cognitive processes such as learning and memory. The medial septum (MS) plays an essential role for the generation of hippocampal theta rhythm. My group is interested in understanding how HCN channels and other cation channels in pacemaker neurons of the medial septum (MS) drive the hippocampal theta rhythm. We also investigate how other rhythms in the brain (circadian rhythm, rhythms in the thalamocortical system) are generated and how changes in these processes lead to epilepsy and other diseases of the central nervous system. This work is funded in the CRC 870 „Assembly and Function of Neuronal Circuits“.