Dr Anton Nikolaev
Lecturer in Neuroscience
Brief career history
Our research is focused on investigating the neuronal circuits responsible for information processing in the visual system. The vertebrate visual system is able to recognize a remarkable number of objects of different appearances but the mechanisms and neural circuits underlying this ability are not known. To tackle this problem we use in vivo imaging of neuronal activity in zebrafish and follow the processing of visual information in different brain areas.
Neuronal circuits involved in processing of visial information in zebrafish
1. To understand the organisation of neuronal circuits performing processing of visual information in zebrafish. Using a combination of behavioural and imaging techniques we study how the zebrafish visual system processes visual information. Our main goal is to understand how information about object identity is encoded in the activity of visual neurons. The range of questions we ask includes: what features are extracted by the early visual system in order to make object recognition efficient? How do these features converge to form receptive fields of object recognising neurons? What is the role of adaptation in this process?
To answer these questions we image neuronal activity in zebrafish larvae. We are using zebrafish lines expressing calcium activity indicators in all or subset of visual neurons. These indicators change their brightness when neuron is active. The advantage of this method is that it is non-invasive and allows for the simultaneous study of a large population of neurons - something that is currently unfeasible using other techniques.
2. To understand how memory is encoded in changes in synaptic strength. We are develop GFP based reporters of long-term potentiation and long-term depression. These reporters will be used in vivo to understand how simple forms of associative and non-associative memory are implemented in changes in synaptic strength. To answer these questions we are developing behavioural paradigms that will allow us to combine evaluation of memory formation with in vivo imaging of synaptic strength.
2015: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching from the University of Sheffield (Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, FHEA)
Undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules
Postgraduate studentship opportunities
We advertise PhD opportunities (Funded or Self-Funded) on FindAPhD.com
For further information and details of other projects on offer, please see the department PhD Opportunities page:
- Long-term imaging of calcium dynamics using genetically encoded calcium indicators and automatic tracking of cultured cells. BioTechniques, 65(1), 37-39.
- Imaging Neuronal Activity in the Optic Tectum of Late Stage Larval Zebrafish. Journal of Developmental Biology, 6(1). View this article in WRRO
- A Synaptic Mechanism for Temporal Filtering of Visual Signals. PLoS Biology, 12(10). View this article in WRRO
- Synaptic mechanisms of adaptation and sensitization in the retina. Nature Neuroscience, 16(7), 934-941.
- Network Adaptation Improves Temporal Representation of Naturalistic Stimuli in Drosophila Eye: I Dynamics. PLoS One, 4(1). View this article in WRRO
- Encoding of Luminance and Contrast by Linear and Nonlinear Synapses in the Retina. Neuron, 73(4), 758-773.