The 11th FENS Forum 2018 in Berlin was closed by an outstanding plenary lecture held by Dr. Botond Roska, MD, PhD, University of Basel and FENS Member, The Brain Conferences Committee. Dr. Roska and the lecture ‘Neuronal circuit based medicine’ were introduced by Dr. Eero Castren, FENS Secretary General – elect (2016-2018).
The Hall B of the City Cube in Berlin holds up to 4000 people and was very well visited when Dr. Roska provided his lecture.
In his lecture Dr. Roska detailed that the function of the brain can be studied at many different hierarchical levels. He and his group are interested in how neurons interact in local neuronal networks to compute behaviourally relevant functions and how fundamental circuit motifs, relevant for computation, develop. The mammalian retina and the visual cortex are used as a model system because the input, a dynamically changing light pattern, is well defined and can be easily manipulated experimentally. Moreover, the activity of each neuron can be recorded during light stimulation. The experimental approach is interdisciplinary: the group combines imaging, physiological, molecular, viral and computational approaches to reveal the structure and function of retinal and cortical circuits. Basic understanding of neuronal circuits could lead to rational therapies in certain forms of blindness.