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Student Researchers' Society Topics

Co-supervisor: Dr. KÓBOR, Péter

This project concerns the biological basis of colour vision. We have recently discovered a cell population in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat thalamus, which represents an ancient form of the blue-yellow colour opponent visual pathway also found in humans. In this project, we try to follow this pathway towards the retina as well as the visual cortex using electrophysiological, tract tracing and immunocitochemical methods. Our research aims at a better understanding of the evolutionary basis and cortical mechanisms of human colour vision.

Co-supervisor: RADÓ, János

Independent component analysis (ICA) seems to be a promising artificial intelligence (AI) method which is suitable to blind separate non-gaussian signals that are independent from each other. The goal of this project is to study the utility of ICA method in the analysis of visual evoked responses in EEG records, whether noises of non-neuronal origin can be reduced efficiently and/or signal to noise ration of the record can be improved significantly. Registration of motivated students are expected who are interested in math and programming.

Co-supervisor: Dr. BUZÁS, Péter

The goal of this project is to develop Cyclopic, anaglyphic random dot stereograms, which are suitable for studying both human and cat binocular visual information processing system without the necessity of calibration or matching the monitor colors to the applied color filters of the goggles. 

Co-supervisor: Dr. JANDÓ, Gábor

This project concerns the biological basis of 3D vision. A recent theory claims that binocular information is processed by two functionally distinct, parallel channels in the brain. Colour information has different roles in these channels. Here, we would like to identify and characterise these two mechanisms by measuring responses to tricky movies, so-called dynamic random dot stereograms. We use psychophysical, electrophysiological (EEG, LFP and multichannel single-unit recording) and functional imaging (optical imaging, fMRI) methods.

Co-supervisor: Dr. BUZÁS, Péter

In this research, we examine the impact of cortical feedback on the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN, i.e. the relay nucleus of the visual pathway) in awake, freely moving cats. Surprisingly, LGN receives more synaptic input from cortical neurones than from retinal afferents. Despite this downstream dominance, LGN has been thought to be a simple relay station for a long time, and the role of the corticogeniculate feedback in visual processing is still poorly understood. Earlier, our research group described thalamic neurones from the cat LGN. Now, we would like to study how the feedback coming from the visual cortex can modulate the activity of cells in the LGN and if this effect is different among the cell types. In our laboratory, students will have the opportunity to study trained, behaving cats using telemetric (wireless) electrophysiology, and they can learn how to analyse data from EEG and single unit recording. Our research will contribute to understand the corticogeniculate feedback better.

Co-supervisor: Dr. BUZÁSNÉ, Telkes Ildikó

Vision is based on the information arriving from ganglion cells of the retina. The diverse types of ganglion cells receive their input from the photoreceptors through various neuronal networks that determine which aspect of the retinal image is trasmitted to the rest of the brain. Here, we aim at elucidating these networks using specific fluorescent labelling.

Compared to the other sensory modalities, gustation is of distinguished significance in the adaptive control of food and fluid intake behaviors. With respect to this, the limbic forebrain taste information processing appears to be especially important. For studying these processes, to a better understanding of the neuronal background of the above functions, extracellular single neuron recordings are to be conducted during gustatory stimulations, as well as taste associated learning and other behavioral tests are to be performed.

Co-supervisor: Dr. KÖVESDI, Erzsébet

Estrogen secreted from the ovary alters the function of several neuronal phenotypes. Cholinergic neurons degenerate in Alzheimer's disease and estrogen plays a role in determining the vulnerability of cholinergic neurons in this condition. The estrogen also acts a feedback manner to alter the function of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, the central "processor unit" of the fertility. Although estrogen primarily alters the neuronal activity by modulating gene expression directly it also exerts "non-classical" effects on neurons by altering signal transduction pathways. In our laboratory, we are systematically characterizing the mechanism and role of estrogen-induced "non-classical" effect on signalling molecules in cholinergic and GnRH neurons using immunohistochemistry, calcium imaging, single cell electrophysiology, single molecule detection, bahavioural tests and transgenic technology.

Co-supervisor: Dr. FÜLÖP, Diána

3D perception is a sensitive and complex mechanism in the cortical processing of visual information. Our aim is to explore the physiological basis of binocular perception using psychophysics, visual evoked potentials (VEP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging methods. The experimental measurements are carried out in the Institute of Physiology and in collaboration with Pécs Diagnostic Center.

Co-supervisor: Dr. CZIGER-NEMES, Vanda

In this research project we investigate the physiological foundations of 3D vision. During the process of stereopsis, the visual system has to find the corresponding image points that are projected to the retinas of the two eyes. We investigate these low level mechanisms of stereopsis with random dot correlogram stimuli using psychophysical methods. We explore to what extent these mechanisms are sensitive to interference using masking stimuli, and the information content and similarity of incoming visual information. 

Co-supervisor: Dr. JANDÓ, Gábor

Our brain is able to code, temporarily store (up to 30s) and retrieve the neural representations of the seen images, a process called Visual Short Term Memory (VSTM). Since perceptual representations are difficult to be verbally tagged, the stored information is often vague and vulnerable, subsequent stimulation can easily distort the remembered image. The qualitative and quantitative properties of visual memory mechanisms can be examined using psychophysical, electrophysiological (EEG) and brain imaging (fMRI) methods. The experimental measurements are carried out in the Institute of Physiology and in collaboration with Pécs Diagnostic Center.

Co-supervisor: Dr. MIKÓ-BARÁTH, Eszter

This project concerns the biological basis of 3D vision. A recent theory claims that binocular information is processed by two functionally distinct, parallel channels in the brain. Here, we would like to identify and characterise these two mechanisms by measuring responses to tricky movies, so-called dynamic random dot stereograms. We use psychophysical, electrophysiological (EEG) and functional imaging (fMRI) methods.

Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in the West, due to its beneficial physiological and psychological effects. It balances the activity of the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and decreases sympathetic activity. Numerous research have proven the method to be effective in maintaining health and improving certain conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, anxiety disorders and depression, to mention a few. We examine the effects of yoga with a multidisciplinary approach using experimental methods such as EEG. 
 

Co-supervisor: Dr. CZIGER-NEMES, Vanda

We examine children and young adults with eye diseases that potentially affect stereopsis using psychophysical and electrophysiological (EEG) and brain imaging methods (fMRI). The experimental measurements are carried out in the Institute of Physiology and in collaboration with Pécs Diagnostic Center and the Department of Ophthalmology.

Co-supervisor: Dr. SZABÓ, István

Complex neurochemical (microelectrophoretic administration of catecholamines, neuropeptides, interleukin 1β, etc.) and behavioral (monkey, conditioned alimentary task) microelectrophysiological experiments for the feeding and motivation (hunger, satiety) as well as metabolic state (obesity, diabetes mellitus) associated functional characterization of limbic forebrain (orbitofrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, etc.) glucose-monitoring neurons.

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.

Co-supervisor: Dr. JANDÓ, Gábor

Visual functions deteriorate with aging, object recognition, reading, sports activities, driving become more difficult, to mention a few, and these substantially affect quality of life. The problems are intensified in neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease), where vision domains can be selective affected, and their detection could serve as early biomarkers to promote diagnosis in the early stages of the disease. We use psychophysical, electrophysiological (EEG) and brain imaging (fMRI) methods in our experiments. The measurements are carried out in the Institute of Physiology and in collaboration with Pécs Diagnostic Center and the Department of Neurology.