High-throughput Visualization and Computational Consequences of Increased Synaptic Plasticity and Axon Regeneration in the Living Aged Brain
Cognitive decline associated with ageing and brain injury affects millions of people every year but the underlying cellular and synaptic mechanisms are not completely understood.
Recent evidence shows that synapses are unstable in the aged brain with higher rates of formation, elimination and strength change associated with long-term memory impairment (Grillo et al., PNAS 2013).
Now with this PhD studentship we propose to study the computational aspects of increased synaptic dynamics.
Our approach will make use of recently established in vivo optical imaging and minimal injury assays in the De Paola lab and new computational methods from the Clopath lab to gain insights into the causal relationship between synaptic remodelling and age-related cognitive decline.
In addition, novel high-throughput image analysis algorithms based on steerable wavelet technology will be developed together with the Bharath lab.