Understanding the brain requires hypotheses about what it is computing. Our laboratory adopts the predictive coding framework, which proposes that internal, generative models constantly attempt to predict incoming sensory input. The biology behind internal models, how they emerge, and a mechanistic understanding of their functioning is at the core of our research programme.
We work on the mouse visual cortices, especially layer 5 pyramidal neurons, that convey the main output of cortical computations. We study the inputs they receive on their dendrites, the computations they can do, and the effect of their activity on eye-movements. We are using a combination of techniques, e.g., in vivo recordings on a purpose-built apparatus combining visual virtual reality with animal-driven physical rotation, corresponding to sensory inputs from the visual and vestibular senses. This way we can introduce prediction errors through sensory mismatch to interrogate the enigmatic internal models.
Widespread vestibular activation of the rodent cortex.
Rancz EA, Moya J, Drawitsch F, Brichta AM, Canals S, Margrie TW
The Stimulus Selectivity and Connectivity of Layer Six Principal Cells Reveals Cortical Microcircuits Underlying Visual Processing.
Vélez-Fort M, Rousseau CV, Niedworok CJ, Wickersham IR, Rancz EA, Brown APY, Strom M, Margrie TW
Transfection via whole-cell recording in vivo: bridging single-cell physiology, genetics and connectomics.
Rancz EA, Franks KM, Schwarz MK, Pichler B, Schaefer AT, Margrie TW
Apical length governs computational diversity of layer 5 pyramidal neurons.
Galloni AR, Laffere A, Rancz E