Florian Engert

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Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) are powerful tools for systems neuroscience. Recent efforts in protein engineering have significantly increased the performance of GECIs. The state-of-the art single-wavelength GECI, GCaMP3, has been deployed in a number of model organisms and can reliably detect three or more action potentials in short bursts(More)
Long-term enhancement of synaptic efficacy in the hippocampus is an important model for studying the cellular mechanisms of neuronal plasticity, circuit reorganization, and even learning and memory. Although these long-lasting functional changes are easy to induce, it has been very difficult to demonstrate that they are accompanied or even caused by(More)
During development of the visual system, the pattern of visual inputs may have an instructive role in refining developing neural circuits. How visual inputs of specific spatiotemporal patterns shape the circuit development remains largely unknown. We report here that, in the developing Xenopus retinotectal system, the receptive field of tectal neurons can(More)
A fundamental question in neuroscience is how entire neural circuits generate behaviour and adapt it to changes in sensory feedback. Here we use two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of large populations of neurons at the cellular level, throughout the brain of larval zebrafish expressing a genetically encoded calcium sensor, while the paralysed(More)
Long-term potentiation (LTP), the long-lasting increase in synaptic transmission, has been proposed to be a cellular mechanism essential for learning and memory, neuronal development, and circuit reorganization. In the original theoretical and experimental work it was assumed that only synapses that had experienced concurrent pre- and postsynaptic activity(More)
The precise temporal relation between pre- and postsynaptic activity modulates the strength of synaptic connections. Despite its extensive characterization in vivo and in vitro, the degree to which spike timing-dependent plasticity can shape receptive field properties is unclear. We use in vivo patch-clamp recordings of tectal neurons in developing Xenopus(More)
Somatosensory neurons in teleosts and amphibians are sensitive to thermal, mechanical, or nociceptive stimuli [1, 2]. The two main types of such cells in zebrafish--Rohon-Beard and trigeminal neurons--have served as models for neural development [3-6], but little is known about how they encode tactile stimuli. The hindbrain networks that transduce(More)
Understanding how the nervous system recognizes salient stimuli in the environment and selects and executes the appropriate behavioral responses is a fundamental question in systems neuroscience. To facilitate the neuroethological study of visually guided behavior in larval zebrafish, we developed "virtual reality" assays in which precisely controlled(More)
Neural pathways projecting from sensory organs to higher brain centers form topographic maps in which neighbor relationships are preserved from a sending to a receiving neural population. Sensory input can generate compartmentalized electrical and biochemical activity in the dendrites of a receiving neuron. Here, we show that in the developing retinotectal(More)
A basic question in the field of motor control is how different actions are represented by activity in spinal projection neurons. We used a new behavioral assay to identify visual stimuli that specifically drive basic motor patterns in zebrafish. These stimuli evoked consistent patterns of neural activity in the neurons projecting to the spinal cord, which(More)