Organisation of large neuronal populations during behaviour


  • Prof Matteo Carandini

    University College London

  • Prof Kenneth Harris

    University College London

Project summary

Until recently, our understanding of brain activity relied on recordings from tens or hundreds of neurons in a single brain region in a single behaviour. In our previous joint project we used these recordings to characterise the activity of local populations of about 100 neurons and to start understanding the circuit mechanisms and behavioural relevance of this activity.

The brain, however, operates through the coordinated activity of vast and distributed populations of neurons, which work in flexible teams to achieve diverse behaviours. New techniques are available to capture this coordinated activity. This will allow us to characterise the basic structure of activity in the whole brain during multiple behaviours, and to understand how every neuron in a local population participates. It will also allow us to see how activity in one population influences activity in another and how these populations underlie the performance of different behaviours.

Our study will use a combination of multiple advanced experimental techniques and computational data processing to provide an unprecedented view on the neuronal-level organisation of populations across the brain during behaviour.