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Marie Carlén

Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Website : https://ki.se/en/neuro/carlenlab
Twitter : @carlenlab


Functional maps for the mouse prefrontal cortex


The prefrontal cortex (PFC) covers the front part of the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex and is considered to enable cognition. The structure and function of the PFC across species remain unresolved. Taking advantage of the technological toolbox available to studies in rodents, our studies aim to outline the mouse PFC through integration of structural, molecular, and functional characteristics. The connectivity outlines the mouse PFC as a module with dense intraconnectivity, questioning independent processing in discrete prefrontal subregions. In line with this, higher cognitive functions are considered to be integrative rather than localized. Non-localized functions of the PFC can only be revealed by studies focusing on the PFC as a whole.

The past decade has seen an avalanche of studies presenting large-scale data on structural and molecular features of the brain, knowledge that has propelled our understanding of the circuit wiring and tissue composition across the brain. In parallel, high-density probes for single neuron electrophysiology have opened for massive and concurrent sampling of neuronal activities across large brain territories. I will in my talk introduce the concept of functional maps of brain regions and present our work towards annotation of the mouse PFC based on generation of activity maps. I will include analyses of possible hierarchy within the PFC, local vs non-local functions, and also, as far as possible, comparisons to other brain regions, and species.


Dr. Marie Carlén is a Professor and group leader at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.Marie received her Ph.D. in medicine from Karolinska Institutet in 2005. Her doctoral studies were conducted in the laboratory of Professor Jonas Frisén and focused on stem cells and neurogenesis in the adult brain and spinal cord. Marie went to Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Boston, for postdoc studies in the laboratory of Professor Li-Huei Tsai at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. During her postdoc, Marie investigated how the activity of inhibitory interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV) relates to cortical oscillatory activities and cognitive functions.

In 2010 Marie was recruited to the Department of Neuroscience to Karolinska Institutet, and her laboratory is investigating the structure and function of the prefrontal cortex. The studies are primarily conducted in mice and the current work uses high-density electrophysiology and imaging to decipher how the neurons and networks in the prefrontal cortex enables cognition.