Student Researchers' Society Topics

Student Researchers' Society Topics

Co-supervisor: Dr. JANDÓ, Gábor

The deterioration of visual function associated with ageing is a result of the natural aging process of the human eye and nervous system. Clinical measures of function include visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, color vision, and spatial vision. The current research project aims to investigate and identify key mechanisms with psychophysical and electrophysiological methods. This is important, as early detection of age-related vision problems and the development of preventive measures can have a significant impact on the quality of life.

Co-supervisor: Dr. SZABÓ, István

The screening of amblyopia and its risk factors is very important in pediatric ophthalmology. Our working group has been working on the development of screening methods for these disorders in childhood for a long time. Through a multicenter clinical study, there is an opportunity to learn about the method and to further improve it.

Co-supervisor: Dr. JANDÓ, Gábor

We conduct measurements in eye diseases potentially affecting stereovision using psychophysical and electrophysiological (EEG) methods. The measurements take place at the Institute of Physiology of the Faculty of Medicine in collaboration with the Department of Ophthalmology, involving children and young adults.

Co-supervisor: Dr. MIKÓ-BARÁTH, Eszter

Visual evoked potentials (VEP) electroencephalography (EEG) is an electrophysiological method used to measure brain activity and certain visual functions. However, analyzing EEG data often poses challenges as the results of the study depend heavily on the quality and quantity of the data. In our laboratory, we routinely perform EEG-VEP studies on infants and young children using a single-channel measuring system.


The aim of this project is to replace the current system with a multi-channel measuring system using the Brain Product EEG device. The goal of the TDK work is to create a reference database for the introduced EEG device involving subjects of different ages, from infants to adults. The measurements are carried out and evaluated according to the guidelines of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV), thus the results can be applied and published in accordance with international clinical practice.


Standard checkerboard patterns and stereo stimuli (examining binocular vision) are used to analyze the evoked responses. EEG data will be processed using a data processing program that allows for quick, high-quality, and quantitative analysis. During the work, the student will acquire the methodology of EEG data collection and analysis, as well as the creation of reference databases, which will aid applications of EEG in the research and clinical setting.

PACAP is a neuropeptide produced by different cell types. Among its many effects, it affects fertility and sexual function. In the present project, we investigate the effects of PACAP on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in knock-out and wild-type male and female mice using microscopic and molecular biology methods.

The main goal of this project is to investigate the learning processes in artificial and biological networks/systems, furthermore we aim to reveal the similarities and differences between their functions/behaviours. The results of our research group acquired in the experiments with biological systems can open up new ways for elaborating genuine teaching/learning algorithms for artificial neural networks. In turn, the mathematical analysis of the learning processes in artificial systems can greatly contribute to the modeling and deeper understanding of the function of biological systems. In this research, we use electrophysiological and behavioral methods to understand the different aspects of learning processes in biological systems. In addition, modeling of biological systems and description of the algorithms of artificial systems is possible by means of a wide range of mathematical tools. The artificial systems are implemented in computer.  

The forebrain glucose-monitoring neural network and the central regulation of homeostasis.

Forebrain taste information processing and the central feeding control.

Co-supervisor: Prof. Dr. LÉNÁRD, László

The role of dopamine and RFamide-related peptides in the regulation of behavioral and cognitive functions.

Learning and memory disturbances reveal increasing prevalence from year to year, manifesting in all ages starting from pre-schoolers up to deep elderly. Growing evidence suggests that RFamide peptides may be potential regulators of cognitive functions, and moreover, may serve as a specific link between the  metabolic and the neural signals. The purpose of the present project is the investigation of the connections between the RFamide peptides, main neurotransmitters and their effects on learning, curiosity, social interaction, and other behavioral patterns.

Co-supervisor: Dr. BUZÁSNÉ, Telkes Ildikó

Amacrine cells are a diverse class of interneurons that modulate input from photoreceptors to retinal ganglion cells. Forty to sixty amacrine types are known in the mammalian retina, but many details of their functions are still unknown. The most studied type is the AII amacrine cell, classically known as the „rod amacrine”. In this project, we are interested in the regional differences or synaptic connections of amacrine cell types within cells as well as across the retina, with emphasis on electrical synapses, which form an electrically coupled network of AII amacrine cells. We will use fluorescence microscopy, including super-resolution microscopy to find out more about the small-scale and large-scale structure of the AII network.   

Investigation of P2 purinergic receptors with confocal and super-resolution microscopy techniques in the brain

The role of brain limbic structures in the regulation of feeding.

The role of brain monoaminergic systems and neuropeptides in learning processes.

Co-supervisor: Dr. KÓBOR, Péter

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, LFP and multichannel single-unit recording) and functional imaging (optical imaging, fMRI) methods.

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) and functional imaging (fMRI) methods.

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. 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.

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. FUSZ, Katalin

As part of the central nervous system, the retina can undergo pathological changes associated with neurodegenerative processes such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, little is known about the morphological and functional changes in the retina in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. In this project, we would like to map the alterations of certain retinal cell types and their connections in animal models of the above-mentioned neurodevelopmental disorders. 

The incidence of PTSD is increasing, but there are still many therapy resistant cases. With the help of animal models, we try to map possible brain mechanisms in the hope that a better understanding of the functions can bring us closer to healing by identifying new therapeutic targets. In the present work, we focus on the metabolic aspects of PTSD.

In our aging society, the incidence of dementias is expected to increase. The illness associated with the decline of mental abilities places a heavy burden not only on the individual but also on society. Exploring the mechanisms and identifying new therapeutic options requires the use of animal models. Characterization of the triple transgenic mouse strain is essential for future testing of potential drugs. In addition to brain lesions, we plan to place great emphasis on peripheral abnormalities (smell, fine motor skills, metabolism).

The textbook approach considers the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to be the major regulator of stress processes. However, the hypothalamic component of the axis, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), also occurs in other areas of the brain. In our research, we focus primarily on the median raphe region and plan to explore the role of cells in the regulation of hormonal and behavioral stress processes using modern techniques (opto- and pharmacogenetics, “fiber photometry”).

Autism spectrum disorder and vasopressin

The role of tachykinins and the neuropeptide interactions in learning, reinforcement, and memory processes, and in the regulation of addictive behavior. 

Mossy cells comprise a large fraction of excitatory neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Their role is described in adult neurogenesis, plasticity and in hippocampal oscillation, but the key distinguishing feature of mossy cells is there extreme vulnerability in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). In our preliminary work we found selective expression of TRPM4 ion channel in hilar mossy cells.

In the current proposal we aim to reveal the role of TRPM4 in the physiological and pathophysiological functions of mossy cells with special emphasize on TLE. The role of TRPM4 on mossy cell loss and in the associated spatial memory deficit seen in experimental TLE will be characterized by EEG recordings, patch clamp in vivo Ca2+ imaging and behavioral experiments.

The outcome of the above detailed proposal can shed light to the cellular mechanisms leading to the extreme vulnerability of mossy cells in TLE and can identify new drug targets in the treatment of epilepsy

In our experiments, we examine the effects of agonists and antagonists of neurotensin or its receptors on general activity, spatial, reward and punishment learning, and anxiety. We conduct our studies on male Wistar rats (as well as animal models for various diseases, such as schizophrenia). In addition, the interactions of neurotensin (with dopamine, GABA, etc.) are also investigated. 

"Examination of autism spectrum disorder with animal model"

Nowadays, various nutritional, metabolic and psychological diseases are appearing in increasing numbers, which are closely related to stress. More and more research results prove that RFamide peptides can play a role in regulating stress responses. The main basic hypothesis of our research is that RFamide peptides and their receptors play an important role in the regulation of stress responses, probably having a modulating role in the functioning of the stress axis through hypothalamic CRF neurons. The aim of the project is to reveal the role of RF amides in the development of depression-like symptoms, to learn about its relationship with stress regulation (stress hormone levels, the role of CRH receptors in the processes). 

Manganese contrast-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) takes advantage of Mn2+ ions entering through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and accumulating in activated neurons. Depending on the accumulated amount of Mn2+ ions, T1 relaxation time is decreased during MRI. Since the effect lasts for days due to the long elimination time, it is suitable for later visualization of the activated brain areas in anesthetized animals. Using the MEMRI technique, we visualize the activated brain areas in different models of diseases of the nervous system in order to be able to compare them with human functional imaging data. During the experiments, the student learns the basics of MRI and different imaging sequences. They will also participate in the data processing.

Co-supervisor: Dr. PETYKÓ, Zoltán

Anticipating the consequences of our behavior is a fundamental element of decisions making. During instrumental conditioning, learning a new successful behavior can be quickly investigated. The new instrumental response comprises the output of several responses and their evaluation using the "trial and error" principle. The prefrontal cortex is fundamental in the learning of the instrumental response, as well as in the appropriate modification of the already known response-reward association. During our current experiments, we want to map the neural networks which are necessary for the development of the new instrumental response in the prefrontal cortex using in vivo electrophysiological methods. During the experiments, the student participates in conditioning the animals and evaluating their behavior. They learn the systems required for electrophysiological study and how to build electrodes.

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. 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.

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.