Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

Rhythms of the brain: uncovering a subcortical circuit that modulates cortical GABAergic neurons

Department Somogyi Group

Minas Salib, in the group led by Tim Viney and Peter Somogyi, has discovered a new type of neuronal pathway that may be important in memory. For the encoding and recall of episodic memories, nerve cells in the cerebral cortex are activated in precisely timed sequences. Rhythmicity facilitates the coordination of neuronal activity and these rhythms are detected as oscillations of different frequencies, such as 5–12 Hz theta oscillations. Degradation of these rhythms, such as through neurodegeneration, causes memory deficits. The medial septum, a part of the basal forebrain that innervates the hippocampal formation, contains neurons that fire with a high degree of rhythmicity (HRNs) and others that fire with a low degree of rhythmicity (LRNs). These distinct types of neuron may contribute differentially to the coordination of cortical neuronal activity. Minas and colleagues discovered that GABAergic LRNs preferentially innervate the dentate gyrus and the CA3 area of the hippocampus, regions important for episodic memory. These neurons act in parallel with the HRNs mostly via transient inhibition of inhibitory neurons. A figure from the paper describing these results was chosen to illustrate the front cover of the 5 June issue of Journal of Neuroscience.

Professor Mark T Nelson elected to membership of the National Academy of Sciences

Department

The Department is delighted to congratulate one of our visiting professors, Mark Nelson of the University of Vermont, on his election as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Oxford pharmacology tops qs world rankings

Oxford Pharmacology tops QS World Rankings

Department

The Department of Pharmacology at Oxford is delighted to be placed at the top of the world rankings for Pharmacy and Pharmacology according to league tables published this week by QS. The QS World University Rankings by Subject comprise the biggest compilation of international data on higher education ever published.

Graduate students announce formation of oxford pharmacology society

Graduate students announce formation of Oxford Pharmacology Society

Department

At a recent event in the Department of Pharmacology, featuring DPhil and MSC students along with early career researchers, the formation of the Oxford Pharmacology Society (OPS) was announced.

Antiarrhythmic drugs 2013 an updated classification after 50 years

Antiarrhythmic drugs – an updated classification after 50 years

Department

In the late 1960s Miles Vaughan Williams, a member of the staff in the Oxford Department of Pharmacology and Fellow of Hertford College (1955-85), introduced a novel classification of drugs used to treat cardiac arrhythmias. This scheme has been very widely used around the world and has led to the development of new drugs that have saved countless lives. Our understanding of the control of cardiac rhythm has developed in that time and a group of cardiovascular scientists from Oxford, Cambridge and Beijing led by Associate Professor Ming Lei decided that the time was ripe to modernise the classification and to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Vaughan Williams.

Load More