Institute of Physiology

Research

Endre Grastyán Behavioral Physiology Research Division

Motivation and Learning Research Group; (leader Prof. Dr. László Lénárd)

The aim of the project is to study in the CNS limbic structures the role of monoamines and neuropeptides in hunger and satiety mechanisms and to reveal their role in the regulation of learning-reinforcing processes and memory. In different behavioral paradigms (open field, active and passive avoidance tests, elevated plus maze and place preference tests, Morris water maze test for navigation in space, operant conditioning) effects of orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides (orexins, RF-amides and  bombesin-like peptides) and the role of other neuropeptides (substance P, neurotensin, oxytocin) involved in the regulation of reinforcement are examined. Interactions of peptides with monoamines (dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonine) are also studied. Results of the project serve the better understanding of hunger motivation and addictive behavior, and contribute to unravel the mechanisms of memory formation and consolidation.

 

Homeostatic Control Research Group; (leader Prof. Dr. Zoltán Karádi)

The research program summarizes our multiple neurophysiological experiments to functionally characterize the glucose-monitoring (GM) neuronal network substantial in the central regulation of feeding, body weight, and metabolism. Extracellular single neuron recording, neurochemical-biochemical and behavioral investigations are planned in the laboratory rat as well as in the rhesus monkey, phylogenetically close to the human being. The target areas of the experiments are the limbic forebrain structures in which the homeostatic significance of the GM neurons is to be elucidated. Successful accomplishment of the program serves the better understanding of the central regulation of feeding and metabolism and that of diseases (obesity, diabetes mellitus, etc.) developing after pathological alterations of these functions and causing escalating social and financial problems worldwide.

 

 

Neuroendocrine Research Group, (leader Dr. István Ábrahám)

Our research group investigates the role and mechanism of non-classical rapid estrogen actionon on neurons in the brain using immunohistochemistry, calcium imaging, single cell electrophysiology, live cell single molecule detection, transgenic technology and behavioural tests. Results provide novel information about estrogen-induced neuroprotective effects and estrogen action on the neuronal regulation of fertility.
 

 

Human Electrophysiology Research Group; (leader: Dr. Gábor Jandó)

The major interest of our research lab is vision and binocular vision in particular. Psychophysical, visual evoked potential (VEP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques are used to explore the cortical mechanisms of binocularity and its development in adults and human infants. A clinical aspect of our research is abnormal visual development (i.e., amblyopia) and its active prevention by screening.

 

 

Visual Physiology Research Group; (leader: Dr. Péter Buzás)

Our visual sense shows us the world as a unified percept where location, movement, shape, colour and other qualities of objects are naturally blended together. However, the image projected into the eye is processed by functionally and anatomically distinct nerve pathways each one dealing only with some of its aspects. Our current research is focused on the anatomy, physiology and evolutionary origin of nerve pathways for colour vision and stereopsis using anatomical (tract tracing, immunocytochemistry), electrophysiological and functional imaging (optical imaging) methods.

 

Publications

 

Prof. Dr. Lénárd László

Prof. Dr. Karádi Zoltán

Dr. Ábrahám István

Dr. Jandó Gábor

Dr. Buzás Péter