Save the dates: 25 - 30 January 2025
Plenary Event
Neurotechnologies Plenary
29 January 2023 • 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM PST | Moscone Center, Room 207/215 (Level 2 South) 

Program Track Chairs

Anna Devor
Anna Devor
Boston Univ. (United States)
Shy Shoham
Shy Shoham
New York Univ. (United States)

3:30 pm Welcome and Introduction, Shy Shoham, New York Univ. (United States)

3:35 pm Multi-scale imaging of freely-moving animals reveals the behavioral and neural organization of ancestral sleep-like states

Jennifer Li and Drew Robson, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Germany)

Quiescent sleep-like states are found throughout the animal kingdom from worms to mammals, but the complexity of the neural and behavioral signatures associated with quiescence differ significantly across species. In worms, the quiescent brain state can be described by a single fixed-point attractor, while in mammals, the brain oscillates between REM and SWS in a given sleep cycle, suggesting a more complex dynamical system that underlies sleep. Here, we describe for the first time the naturally occurring hierarchy of sub-states within quiescence in a freely-swimming larval zebrafish. To identify these behavioral substates, we developed DASHER (Dynamic Addressable System for High-speed and Enhanced Resolution), a selective readout technique for CMOS image sensors that can significantly boost spatial and temporal resolution around the animal of interest. Using DASHER, we find multiple distinct sub-states exist within quiescence – quiescence with Rapid Eye Movements (qREM), and quiescence with Non-Rapid Eye Movement state (qNREM). Both states are characterized by inhibition of movement, loss of postural control, and increased arousal threshold. By simultaneously imaging brain-wide activity during quiescence in freely-moving animals using a state-of-the-art tracking microscope, we find that quiescence is not defined by a single point attractor but is encoded in dynamical trajectories across state-space. We propose a hierarchical dynamical system model of quiescent sleep-like states in the vertebrate brain.

Drew Robson and Jen Li received their B.A.s from Princeton University, in Mathematics and Molecular Biology respectively. They joined Harvard as Ph.D. students, working to develop brain-wide imaging technology in larval zebrafish and to understand the neural dynamics that underly flexible and adaptive behaviors. Since 2014, Drew and Jen have led a joint laboratory (RoLi Lab), first as Fellows at the Rowland Institute at Harvard, and now as Max Planck Research Group Leaders at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. The RoLi lab develops microscopes that enable whole-brain cellular resolution imaging and manipulation in freely moving animals, in order to understand state-dependent cognition and behavior.

4:00 pm A holistic approach for neural Interfaces: transparent materials, neuromorphic computing, and computational co-designs

Duygu Kuzum, Univ. of California, San Diego (USA)

The next leap in implantable neural interfaces requires technological advances in materials, devices, and computing paradigms. Holistic approaches integrating optical and electrical sensing modalities can overcome spatiotemporal resolution limits of neural sensing as well as open up new avenues for non-invasive neural recording. Integration of sensing, computation and memory on a single array can enable real-time processing of neural signals for compact, low-power and high-throughput brain machine interfaces. Here, we present this vision, its challenges, and discuss recent advances in the areas of transparent neural interfaces for multimodal recordings, neuromorphic approaches for on-chip neural processing and computational co-design at the system level for minimally invasive neural interfaces.

Duygu Kuzum received her Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2010. She is currently an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on development of nanoelectronic synaptic devices for energy-efficient neuro-inspired computing. Her group applies innovations in nanoelectronics to develop new technologies, which will help to better understand circuit-level computation in the brain. She is the author or coauthor of over 50 journal and conference papers. She was a recipient of a number of awards, including Texas Instruments Fellowship and Intel Foundation Fellowship, Penn Neuroscience Pilot Innovative Research Award (2014), Innovators under 35 (TR35) by MIT Technology Review (2014), ONR Young Investigator Award (2016), IEEE Nanotechnology Council Young Investigator Award (2017), NSF Career Award (2018), NIH NIBIB Trailblazer Award (2018), and NIH New Innovator Award (2020).

4:25 pm Fast simultaneous 3D acousto-optical imaging and photostimulation with precise control of temporal sequences of large neuronal assemblies in a novel immersive virtual reality revealed competitive neuronal clusters during learning in behaving mice

Balázs Rózsa, BrainVision Center, Research Institute of Experimental Medicine (Hungary)

Time scale of visual learning is protracted in rodents, interfering with the readout of the underlying network mechanisms. Here we report a head-mounted, bidirectional display (Moculus) for small head-fixed animals which covers the entire visual-field, allows binocular depth-perception, and provides a fully immersive experience. This naturalistic and controllable behavioural environment combined with a treadmill and fast 3D acousto-optical imaging and photostimulation experiments revealed fast visual learning in tens of minutes based on neuronal assemblies competing for visual representations. During this competition reinforcement-associated and control cues are represented by orthogonal but partially overlapping spatio-temporally clustered neuronal assemblies which are centered around hub cells with locally increased functional connectome.

Balázs Rózsa is Director of the BrainVisionCenter and Group Leader, Laboratory of 3D Functional Network and Dendritic Imaging, Institute of Experimental Medicine. Balázs holds over 44 patents. For example, his acousto-optical, laser scanning technology allows fast 3D measurements with >1 million times faster speed compared to classical raster-scanning methods.

4:50 pm Beyond GCaMP: new high-performance genetically encoded biosensors for the neurotechnology toolbox

Robert Campbell, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)

Genetically-encoded biosensors, such as the archetypical GCaMP series of green fluorescent calcium ion biosensors, represent one of the most important classes of molecular neurotechnologies. Advances in this field have been a driving force behind advances in neuroscience, and cell biology in general, for the past two decades. One important direction in this field have been the ongoing expansion of the range of biosensor specificities, beyond calcium ion, in order to enable visualization of membrane potential, neurotransmitter release, and neurometabolism. A second important direction has been the ongoing expansion of the color palette of genetically encoded biosensors, particularly into the red and near-infrared region of the spectrum, to enable multicolour, multiplexed imaging applications and imaging deeper into tissue. Yet another direction has been an ever-rising bar for the expected performance of biosensors. Our lab has strived to push the frontiers in all of these directions and is continuing to work towards developing a new generation of very high-performance biosensors for multi-parameter visualization of ions and metabolites. We aim to achieve this goal by exploiting structure-guided biosensor design, iterative cycles of directive evolution, and lower throughput testing of promising variants in mammalian cells. In this seminar I will present some of our most recent efforts to add new biosensors to the neurotechnology toolbox, with a focus on new biosensors for key neurometabolites and ions other than calcium.

Robert E. Campbell (he/him) is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry, School of Science, at The University of Tokyo (2018 - present). He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of British Columbia (1994-2000) and then undertook postdoctoral research at the University of California San Diego (2000-2003). From 2003 to 2022 he was a Professor at the University of Alberta. He is a leading developer of optogenetic tools, including red fluorescent calcium ion indicators used in labs around the world. He has distributed >8000 samples of fluorescent protein-based tools through the Addgene plasmid repository and many others are distributed as viral vectors. Recent recognitions include a Stanford Neurosciences Institute Visiting Scholar Award (2017), the Teva Canada Limited Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Award (2016), and the Rutherford Memorial Medal from the Royal Society of Canada (2015).

5:15 pm Final Discussion, Shy Shoham, New York Univ. (United States)