Lagnado Lab

Welcome to the Lagnado Lab

We are investigating two neural circuits that are involved in the processing of visual information - the retina and the visual cortex. The question that guides our research is “how do synapses in the visual system contribute to the extraction and transfer the information in a visual stimulus?”.

How do synaptic machines function within neural circuits?  We are using fluorescent reporter proteins by which the electrical activation of synapses and the resulting output - vesicle fusion – can be monitored across hundreds of neurons simultaneously.  By applying multiphoton microcopy to transgenic zebrafish and mice expressing these reporters we can observe synaptic activity in vivo as the visual system responds to stimuli.  Most of our work has investigated the retina of zebrafish, but we are now also working on visual processing beyond the retina as well as the synaptic basis of computations in the visual cortex of mice.  One of our aims is to understand how the short-term platicity of synapses contributes to the control of tuning and responsitivity within these circuits.  We are particularly interested in “network adaptation” - changes in the way that visual stimuli are processed by the neural circuit according to the recent history of activity.

Our approach to investigating these questions involves a combination of techniques, including electrophysiology, molecular biology, multiphoton imaging, single-plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) and computational modelling.  


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Prof. Leon Lagnado FMedSci

Professor of Neuroscience

School of Life Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QG

Tel: 01273 877431