Stragegies for Visualizing Large-Scale Datasets in Neurosciences
George Spirou, PhD
Professor of Otolaryngology, John W. and Jeannette S. Straton Research Chair in Neurosciences, Director of the West Virginia University Center for Neurosciences
A key goal of our laboratory is to understand the sequence of assembly of low-level circuits of the auditory system, focused on the brainstem and its activation by the auditory nerve. We have developed a novel whole-head brain slice preparation to pursue this goal. We have revealed that the auditory nerve fibers can generate action potentials by embryonic day (E) 14.5 and can drive synaptically neurons of the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) by E15.5 (see figure). By E17.5, ~1 day before birth, stimulation of the auditory nerve can elicit action potentials in the contralateral medial nucleus of the trapezoid body, indicating very early formation of synaptic connections.