Dr Sylvia Schröder

Dr Sylvia Schröder

Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow (Neuroscience)

Email: s.schroeder@sussex.ac.uk

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Modulation of visual processing by behaviour

We study how behaviour and internal states like arousal influence visual processing in the early visual system, in particular the retina and the superior colliculus. Based on recent discoveries that even the earliest visual signals in the brain are not purely visual, we want to understand how the integration of visual and behavioural signals could benefit the processing of visual input and ultimately help the animal to reach its behavioural goals. Our lab works with mice as model system and uses two-photon imaging of neurons and their presynaptic inputs (axon terminals), high-density electrophysiology (Neuropixels probes), and opto-/chemogenetic manipulations to address these questions.

Available projects include:

(1) To discover how visual responses of different cell types in the retina and superior colliculus (receiving direct retinal input) are modulated by behaviours like running and by different states of arousal

(2) To discover how reward influences visual processing in the superior colliculus, what the source of reward information is, and how reward modulation of visual responses influences visual behaviour.

(3) To discover the mechanisms underlying behavioural modulation, focusing on the effects of neuromodulators like noradrenaline and serotonin.

Details of the projects will be shaped by the skills and interests of the candidate.

We strongly encourage collaborations with other groups at Sussex Neuroscience such as Leon Lagnado, Tom Baden and Miguel Maravall.

For more details, please contact Sylvia Schröder.

Key references

  • Schröder, S., Steinmetz, N.A., Krumin, M., Pachitariu, M., Rizzi, M., Lagnado, L., Harris, K.D., and Carandini, M. (2020). Arousal Modulates Retinal Output. Neuron 107, 487-495.e9.
  • Baruchin, L. J., Alleman, M., Schröder, S. (2023). Reward modulates visual responses in the superficial superior colliculus of mice. J. Neurosci.
  • Liang, L., Fratzl, A., Reggiani, J.D.S., El Mansour, O., Chen, C., and Andermann, M.L. (2020). Retinal Inputs to the Thalamus Are Selectively Gated by Arousal. Curr. Biol.
  • McGinley, M.J., Vinck, M., Reimer, J., Batista-Brito, R., Zagha, E., Cadwell, C.R., Tolias, A.S., Cardin, J.A., and McCormick, D.A. (2015). Waking State: Rapid Variations Modulate Neural and Behavioral Responses. Neuron 87, 1143–1161.
  • Baden, T., Berens, P., Franke, K., Román Rosón, M., Bethge, M., and Euler, T. (2016). The functional diversity of retinal ganglion cells in the mouse. Nature 529, 345–350.
  • Oliveira, A.F., and Yonehara, K. (2018). The Mouse Superior Colliculus as a Model System for Investigating Cell Type-Based Mechanisms of Visual Motor Transformation. Front. Neural Circuits 12, 59.
  • Sterling, P. and Laughlin, S. (2015) Principles of Neural Design. MIT Press
  • Gollisch, T., and Meister, M. (2010). Eye Smarter than Scientists Believed: Neural Computations in Circuits of the Retina. Neuron 65, 150–164.
  • Lee, S.-H., and Dan, Y. (2012). Neuromodulation of Brain States. Neuron 76, 209–222.

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Baruchin, L.J., Alleman, M., Schröder S. (2022). Reward Modulates Visual Responses in the Superficial Superior Colliculus of Mice. bioRxiv.