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Gunes Unal

Postdoctoral Neuroscientist

My work focuses on systems-level understanding of the modulation of cortico-hippocampal network activity and resultant neuronal oscillations by subcortical afferents.


Specifically, I aim to understand how hippocampal and cortical oscillations are implemented via GABAergic projections of the medial septum/diagonal band complex of the basal forebrain. I use a variety of techniques spanning from in vivo single cell recording/labelling in rodents to anatomical investigation of neuronal circuits in post-mortem and surgically-removed human brain tissue.


Recently, I have analysed the target cell type selectivity of septal GABAergic projections by combining retrograde and anterograde tract-tracing with immunohistochemistry, the CLARITY method, and confocal and electron microscopy, and revealed selective GABAergic targeting of different groups of cortical GABAergic neuron. This finding suggested that septal GABAergic innervation contributes to temporal coordination of neuronal activity via several types of cortical GABAergic interneuron in both hippocampal and extra-hippocampal cortices (Unal et al., 2015).


I am now testing the hypothesis that wide range of activity patterns observed in individual septal GABAergic neurons are linked to their termination on different types of target interneuron in different hippocampal/cortical areas. Preliminary results demonstrate that septal GABAergic neurons coordinate cortical activity through various parallel, highly-specialised projections that are selective for target cell types and regions.

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