Our studies span several levels ranging from
- the intrinsic membrane properties of single cells,
- the synaptic interactions within micro- and macro-cortical circuits,
- the dynamic modulatory influence of endogenous and exogenous neurochemicals upon the intrinsic and synaptic properties described above,
- the effects of disturbances in these systems upon the regulation of behaviour.
Our focus is neurophysiological and includes intracellular techniques (sharp electrode and whole-cell) in both voltage and current clamp modes. Also used are extracellular techniques (single-unit, multi-unit, and field). Multiple electrophysiological recordings of the same or different types tend to be conducted simultaneously, thereby allowing brain events to be recorded at multiple levels and across different anatomical structures. This is important in attempts to decode activity patterns. Recordings are conducted in both in vivo (anaesthetised and freely behaving animals) and in vitro preparations (brain slices and isolated whole brain). Basic neuropharmacological techniques are used to test the effects of neuroactive substance on neurophysiological properties. Neuroanatomical techniques are also used to reveal the morphological characterisation of recorded cells, in addition to the locations of electrodes and probes. Signal analysis procedures allow the characterisation of complex relationships within and between time series signals.