The Laboratory of Systems Neural Development at The George Washington University School of Medicine is uncovering the secret life of the fetal and infant brain. We use advanced electrophysiological methods in animal models of human development. Combined with genetic techniques to manipulate activity during early circuit formation in mice, we ask two fundamental questions: (1) How are visual circuits specialized during early development to generate and transmit spontaneous retinal activity, which is critical for circuit formation? (2) What changes in circuit function must occur to switch the brain from a fetal mode of function to the adult mode, which is critical for normal sensory processing and cognition? One of the major goals of the lab is to create an atlas linking underlying circuit dysfunction to changes in the EEG of preterm and perinatal infants. Our current focus is on the role of the thalamocortical loop, including the GABAergic reticular nucleus, in the amplification and synchronization of spontaneous retinal activity and in the developmental origins of cortical state regulation.
Brief Description of Position:
The lab is recruiting a post-doctoral scientist interested in the functional development of thalamocortical circuits in vivo. The ideal candidate has some experience with the recording, imaging and/or analysis of neural activity in vivo or in vitro and an interest in learning to apply these techniques to the developing brain. Developmental neuroscientists interested in learning to address early brain activity are also encouraged to apply. See colonneselab.org for more information.
Recent publications from the lab include:
- Murata Y, Colonnese MT. (2020) GABAergic interneurons excite neonatal hippocampus in vivo. Science Advances 6(24): eaba1430. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1430.
- Colonnese MT, Phillips AM. (2018) Thalamocortical function in developing sensory circuits. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 52: 72-79. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.04.019
- Murata Y, Colonnese MT. (2016) An excitatory cortical feedback loop gates retinal wave transmission in thalamus. eLife 5:e18816. doi: 10.7554/eLife.18816.
- Berzhanskaya J, Phillips MA, Gorin A, Lai C, Shen J, Colonnese MT. (2017) Disrupted cortical state regulation in a rat model of Fragile X syndrome. Cerebral Cortex 27(2):1386-1400. Published online Jan. 2016.