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Jackie Schiller, PhD

Professor of Physiology

PhD, 1993 - Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Cortical Comutation


Research in my lab is focused on understanding how information is processed and changed in the cortex, as the cortex is the major brain structure responsible for our basic and high level functions.  In particular, we investigate the non-linear computational capabilities of dendrites in cortical pyramidal neurons, which are the principle neurons of the cortex. Dendrites are the computation powerhouse of the cortex and thus are crucial players in the input-output function, and ultimately, in encoding and decoding of cortical information. One of the main issues my lab is concentrating on is to determine the role of dendrites in cortical processing both in vitro and in vivo. Our approach is unique in that it connects theoretical concepts with novel experimental techniques to make the direct link from neuronal coding at the dendritic level to the network level, and also to animal behavior. Studies in the lab employ. state-of-the-art electrophysiological, imaging, optogenetic, pharmacogenetic, histology and modeling techniques both in vivo in awake behaving animals and in vitro in a slice preparation to study how the motor and sensory cortical networks code and store information. In addition, we investigate the contribution of nonlinear dendritic mechanisms to sensory-motor coding and plasticity. 


Representative publications

Garion L, Dubin U, Rubin Y, Khateb M, Schiller Y, Azouz R, and Schiller J. 2014. Texture coarseness responsive neurons and their mapping in layer 2-3 of the rat barrel cortex in vivo. Elife. 3, e03405.


Major G, Larkum ME, and Schiller J. 2013. Active properties of neocortical pyramidal neuron dendrites. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 36, 1-24.
Lavzin, M., Rapoport, S., Polsky, A., Garion, L., and Schiller, J. 2012. Non-linear dendritic processing determines angular tuning of barrel cortex neurons in-vivo. Nature 2012, 490, 397-401.


Larkum ME, Nevian T, Sandler M, Polsky A, and Schiller J. 2009. Synaptic integration in tuft dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a new unifying principle. Science 325, 756-760.


Nevian T, Larkum ME, Polsky A, and Schiller J. 2006. Properties of basal dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a direct patch clamp recording study. Nature Neuroscience 10, 206-214.


Figure legend:

In vitro and in vivo dendritic processing.

A. Dendritic patch clamp recordings from a layer 5 pyramidal neuron in the rat somto-motor cortex using scanning Dodt contrast microscopy and two photon fluorescence imaging.

B. Calcium imaging from Layer 5 pyramidal neurons expressing the genetically encoded indicator GCaMP6 in live behaving mice.

C. Examples of calcium transients from a single layer 5 pyramidal neuron responding to a motor task in consecutive trials.

D. Two-photon imaging of tuft dendrites of layer 5 neuron (Z-projection) in live behaving mice.


Email: jackie@tx.technion.ac.il
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Important Events

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004

Professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover - winners of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
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