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Trade-offs between energy consumption and neuronal performance must shape the design and evolution of nervous systems, but we lack empirical data showing how neuronal energy costs vary according to performance. Using intracellular recordings from the intact retinas of four flies, Drosophila melanogaster, D. virilis, Calliphora vicina, and Sarcophaga(More)
Small open reading frames (smORFs) are short DNA sequences that are able to encode small peptides of less than 100 amino acids. Study of these elements has been neglected despite thousands existing in our genomes. We and others previously showed that peptides as short as 11 amino acids are translated and provide essential functions during insect(More)
Shaker K(+)-channels are one of several voltage-activated K(+)-channels expressed in Drosophila photoreceptors. We have shown recently that Shaker channels act as selective amplifiers, attenuating some signals while boosting others. Loss of these channels reduces the photoreceptor information capacity (bits s(-1)) and induces compensatory changes in(More)
The initiation and propagation of action potentials (APs) places high demands on the energetic resources of neural tissue. Each AP forces ATP-driven ion pumps to work harder to restore the ionic concentration gradients, thus consuming more energy. Here, we ask whether the ionic currents underlying the AP can be predicted theoretically from the principle of(More)
CNS axons differ in diameter (d) by nearly 100-fold (∼0.1-10 μm); therefore, they differ in cross-sectional area (d(2)) and volume by nearly 10,000-fold. If, as found for optic nerve, mitochondrial volume fraction is constant with axon diameter, energy capacity would rise with axon volume, also as d(2). We asked, given constraints on space and energy, what(More)
Evolution of animal morphology, physiology and behaviour is shaped by the selective pressures to which they are subject. Some selective pressures act to increase the benefits accrued whilst others act to reduce the costs incurred, affecting the cost/benefit ratio. Selective pressures therefore produce a trade-off between costs and benefits that ultimately(More)
An array of rapidly inactivating voltage-gated K+ channels is distributed throughout the nervous systems of vertebrates and invertebrates. Although these channels are thought to regulate the excitability of neurons by attenuating voltage signals, their specific functions are often poorly understood. We studied the role of the prototypical inactivating K+(More)
A balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents is thought to be important for several aspects of information processing in cortical neurons in vivo, including gain control, bandwidth and receptive field structure. These factors will affect the firing rate of cortical neurons and their reliability, with consequences for their information(More)
Information is encoded in neural circuits using both graded and action potentials, converting between them within single neurons and successive processing layers. This conversion is accompanied by information loss and a drop in energy efficiency. We investigate the biophysical causes of this loss of information and efficiency by comparing spiking neuron(More)
Energetically costly behaviours, such as flight, push physiological systems to their limits requiring metabolic rates (MR) that are highly elevated above the resting MR (RMR). Both RMR and MR during exercise (e.g. flight or running) in birds and mammals scale allometrically, although there is little consensus about the underlying mechanisms or the scaling(More)