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Maurizio De Pittà (Université de Lyon, France) | Do Astrocytes Compute? Making the point on Neuron-Glia Interactions

When Mar 25, 2014
from 05:15 PM to 06:45 PM
Where Lecture Hall, Hansastr. 9a
Contact Name Ulrich Egert
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Abstract

In recent years, the simultaneous recognition that astrocytes sense neighboring neuronal activity and release neuroactive agents (or “gliotransmitters”) has been instrumental in the uncovering of the many possible roles played by these cells in the regulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal activity. These findings suggested that information travels and is processed not just in the neuronal circuitry but in an expanded neuron-glia network. However much remains elusive about the role of astrocyte signaling in brain computation. Inspired by recent experiments on neuron-astrocyte interactions at cortical synapses, I will present theoretical arguments that suggest novel possible mechanisms whereby astrocytes could take part in the processing and storage of information by the brain. The analysis of the signaling pathways underlying these mechanisms refines our notion of neural communication and has profound implications on our understanding of brain function.

 

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