How does smell transport us back to a cherished memory? We are interested in the circuit mechanisms that underlie the formation of olfactory memories. Currently, our lab is focusing on how inhibitory circuitry gates cortical activity and the formation of memory during odor-guided behavior. While many of the inhibitory circuits that control excitation and cortical activity have been identified in the inhibitory circuits that regulate the inhibitory interneurons themselves are less well known. We recently identified three inhibitory circuits in the piriform cortex that differentially modulate inhibition, and subsequently disinhibit pyramidal cells. While selective disinihibition is essential for normal cortical process such as learning and memory formation, widespread disinihibition can be pathological and promote epileptic activity. We are investigating the circuit mechanisms that selectively regulate disinhibition, gate neural activity and underlie the formation of odor-selective assemblies as animals learn odor-guided tasks. Our goal is to understand how inhibition in the brain is governed during learning and memory formation as well as provide insight to mechanisms that may be corrupted in pathological conditions such as epilepsy.
Education & Training
- Ph.D. University of Ottawa (2005)
Oswald, A.M., and Urban, N.N. Interactions between behaviorally relevant rhythms and synaptic plasticity alter coding in the piriform cortex. J. Neuroscience. 32: 6092-6104, 2012.
Kumar, A.L., Oswald, A.M., Urban, N.N., and Doiron, B. Shaping neural correlation through balanced synaptic inputs. PLoS Computational Biology. 7(12):e1002305, 2011.
Oswald, A.M., and Reyes, A.D. Development of inhibitory timescales in auditory cortex. Cerebral Cortex 21: 1351-1361, 2011.
Oswald, A.M.*, Doiron, B.*, Rinzel, J., and Reyes, A.D. Spatial profile and differential recruitment of GABAB modulate oscillatory activity in auditory cortex. J. Neuroscience. 29(33):10321-34, 2009.
Oswald, A.M., and Reyes, A.D. Maturation of the intrinsic and synaptic properties of L2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse auditory cortex. J. Neurophysiology, 99:2998-3008, 2008.