Body maps inside the brain

This month Claudia Vargas and Maria Luiza Rangel published the text titled "Os mapas do corpo no cérebro" (Body maps inside the brain) at the "Museu do Amanhã" official website. Vargas is the technical consultant of the museum's exhibition "Sport & Brain", which can be seen until October 2. Vargas is also a NeuroMat co-principal investigator, one of FAPESP's Research, Innovation and Dissemination centers, hosted by the University of São Paulo (USP). Text by Claudia Domingues Vargas & Maria Luiza Rangel, 08/2016. (In Portuguese.)

Stochastic Induction of Long-Term Potentiation and Long-Term Depression

G. Antunes, A. C. Roque & F. M. Simoes-de-Souza

Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) of granule-Purkinje cell synapses are persistent synaptic alterations induced by high and low rises of the intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]), respectively. The occurrence of LTD involves the activation of a positive feedback loop formed by protein kinase C, phospholipase A2, and the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase pathway, and its expression comprises the reduction of the population of synaptic AMPA receptors. Recently, a stochastic computational model of these signalling processes demonstrated that, in single synapses, LTD is probabilistic and bistable. Here, we expanded this model to simulate LTP, which requires protein phosphatases and the increase in the population of synaptic AMPA receptors. Our results indicated that, in single synapses, while LTD is bistable, LTP is gradual. Ca2+ induced both processes stochastically. The magnitudes of the Ca2+ signals and the states of the signalling network regulated the likelihood of LTP and LTD and defined dynamic macroscopic Ca2+ thresholds for the synaptic modifications in populations of synapses according to an inverse Bienenstock, Cooper and Munro (BCM) rule or a sigmoidal function. In conclusion, our model presents a unifying mechanism that explains the macroscopic properties of LTP and LTD from their dynamics in single synapses.

NIRA - NeuroMat Individual Report of Activities

The NeuroMat Individual Report of Activities (NIRA) is a system that can be used by Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). Its goal is to assist in preparing the annual report of activities, a document that is submitted annually to FAPESP.

New functionalities to store neuroscience data and metadata in NeuroMat’s freely-shared computational tool

The Neuroscience Experiments System (NES) is an open-source tool to manage clinical data gathered in hospitals and research institutions, that the technology-transfer team at FAPESP’s NeuroMat has developed since 2014. The scientific challenge that the development of this tool addresses is that neuroscience experiments generate heterogeneous data formats and complex metadata, such as provenance information, and NES —currently available on a 0.12 version — intends to provide a unified repository for data and metadata from different natures (i.e., clinical, imaging, behavioral).

NeuroMat hosts first-ever Wikipedian-in-residence in Brazil

The Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) has hosted David Alves as their Wikipedian-in-residence since April. He has received a grant from the São Paulo Research Foundation to establish a practice of scientific dissemination through Wikipedia in NeuroMat, a top-tier research center at the University of São Paulo. Report by Ed Erhart, Wikimedia Blog, 7/15/2016.

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