Many of the cognitive functions in mammals, ranging from memory formation to perception, are performed in the neocortex. One of the fundamental problems in neuroscience is the dynamic regulation of synaptic function, neuronal structure and connectivity within neural circuits as well as their relationship with cognitive abilities in normal and diseased brain. To address this fundamental question, my research focuses on understanding the spread of activity in cortical circuits under physiological conditions, and in an animal model of the human disease Fragile X Syndrome. Our group uses an interdisciplinary strategy that incorporates a variety of experimental approaches including opto-genetic, electrophysiological, imaging,morphological, and behavioral methods in the whisker-related barrel cortex. My approach entails a detailed examination of the physiology and morphology of the neurons involved, the properties of their synaptic interconnectivity and their wiring diagram. In addition, I will use neocortex-specific behavioral tasks, which link defects in learning and memory to specific cortical circuits.
Frick, A., Feldmeyer, D., Helmstädter, M., and Sakmann, B.(2007):Monosynaptic connectionsbetween pairs of L5A pyramidal neurons in columns of juvenile rat somatosensory cortex..Cerebral Cortex:18(2):397-406
Frick, A., Feldmeyer, D., and Sakmann, B.(2007):Postnatal development of synaptic transmission in local networks of layer 5A pyramidal neurons in rat somatosensory cortex..J. Physiology:585(1):103–116
Frick, A. and Johnston, D.(2005):Plasticity of dendritic excitability..J. Neurobiology:64(1):100-115
Frick, A., Magee, J., and Johnston, D.(2004):Long-term potentiation is accompanied by anenhanced local excitability of pyramidal neuron dendrite..Nature Neuroscience:7(2):126-135
Frick, A., Magee, J.C., Koester, H. J., Migliore, M. and Johnston, D.(2003):Normalization of Ca2+signals by small oblique dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons..J. Neuroscience:23(8):3243–3250
For more information, please also see: http://www.neurocentre-magendie.fr/NCM_Pages/Equipes/eq_frick/UK_equipe_frick.php