International visit to strengthen neuroscience techniques

L-R: Dr Adam Morris, Dr Maureen Hagan, Dr Yan Wong, Dr Elizabeth Zavitz and Professor Frank Bremmer.

Members of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s (BDI) Neuroscience Program recently hosted a visit from Professor Frank Bremmer from Philipps University of Marburg, Germany. This visit was supported by a Monash Networks of Excellence grant awarded to the team for their project titled ‘Multiscale approaches to uncovering mysteries of the brain’.

This grant aims to link Monash researchers with academic experts from renowned universities around the globe. This project’s broader aim is to start meaningful collaborations with international experts around the world to establish new cutting-edge technologies, which will enable recordings from large areas of the brain with high resolution, and develop new computational tools to process this data once collected. The team’s Chief Investigators are Professor Marcello Rosa, Dr Nicholas Price, Dr Yan Wong, Dr Adam Morris and Dr Maureen Hagan.

While visiting the team at Monash, Professor Bremmer guided them on techniques that he helped pioneer in electrode recording, and assisted them in developing new analysis techniques for the resultant data. These techniques were used to demonstrate stimulus-evoked 'echoes' in neuronal activity, and the results were presented at the recent Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington DC, with Dr Price and Professor Bremmer as senior authors.

“In the long term, we want to use these basic science discoveries to help the development of the next generation of neural prostheses,” Dr Wong said.

“To have Professor Bremmer here to show us the techniques he developed in Germany was invaluable,” he said.

Over the next six months, the research team will host other experts from New York University, the University of Pittsburgh, the Imperial College London and the University of Tubingen.