Marcos Frank, "Sleep and Cortical Plasticity: More than Meets the Eye"

Sep 30, 2013 (Mon) | 4:00 PM -6:00 PM
393 Serra Mall, Herrin T-175 : Stanford, CA

Abstract: Synaptic plasticity refers to changes in synaptic efficacy or morphology that alter the strength of a synaptic circuit. Synaptic plasticity is a fundamental, defining element of the brain, as it influences behavior, sensory processing and is considered a cellular substrate of memory. Intriguingly, numerous findings indicate that sleep may play a critical role in synaptic plasticity. Chief among these are the observations that sleep promotes learning and memory and is accompanied by electrophysiological and molecular changes conducive for brain plasticity. Nevertheless, there is presently no single theory that adequately explains the diverse effects of sleep on synapses. In this seminar, I discuss some of the challenges in solving this mystery. I also present new findings based on canonical models of plasticity in vivo that provide insights into this most interesting problem.

Department:  Biology

Contact: Maria Magana-Lopez | 650-723-2413 |


  • Marcos Frank University of Pennsylvania