Department of Neurophysiology
Head: Prof. Andrzej WRÓBEL
Secretariate: Jagoda MICHALSKA
Surgery Room: Ewa NOSECKA
Histology Unit: Agnieszka KĘPCZYŃSKA
Electronic workshop: Wojciech BORKOWSKI
Sensory systems (visual system of the cat and somatosensory system of the rat) are investigated by the group led by A. Wróbel and are devoted to basic functional physiology, as well as contextual mechanisms influencing perception. Additionally, the group studies the code for movement perception at the extrageniculate visual pathway.
Regeneration and plasticity in rats is investigated by four groups: neurodegeneration in rodent models of nerve injury potential treatments, including pharmacological, nerve grafts, locomotor training and neurotrophin signaling and cell adhesion with the use of AAV-mediated gene transfer (groups led by J. Czarkowska-Bauch and U. Sławińska); morphological changes of neural plasticity including extracellular proteolysis and glial contributions (group led by G. Wilczyński); molecular and in vivo research on the function of the basal forebrain cholinergic system and beta-amyloid-induced toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease (group led by G. Niewiadomska).
Emotion and memory in rats are investigated by two groups: roles of the limbic structures in emotion and social behavior, as well as the influence of psychotomimetic compounds on limbic activity (group led by S. Kasicki); learning strategies used in a variety of tests such, as defensive and alimentary conditioning, spatial tasks and recognition, and the roles of information transfer (group led by T. Werka).
Neuropsychology research is the conducted by two groups. Research topics include hemispheric asymmetry, cognitive functions, sex-related differences in functional brain organization, mechanisms of language, left-handedness and dyslexia. Close cooperation with colleagues at clinics and hospitals enables these groups to research cognitive deficits in stroke, epileptic and Parkinsonian patients, as well as in patients with cochlear implants and children with developmental disorders (group led by A. Grabowska and group led by E. Szeląg).
Neuroinformatics is researched by Daniel Wójcik and his group whose investigations are aimed at the development of tools and models, and putting them to use to understand neural processing of sensory information gathered by elec- trophysiological, fMRI and behavioral studies.
Ethology is investigated by the group directed by E. Godzińska. This group uses ants as models in comparative research devoted to ontogeny and the neurochemical basis of aggressive and social behavior.
Despite the wide scope of studies, two common topics inte- grate the research carried out in the Department: 1) intrinsic mechanisms of behavioral neurophysiology and 2) plasticity of the nervous system. The traditional Wednesday seminars allow for the exchange of new ideas and hot discoveries between the research groups. Seminars are also the platform for discussion of the lectures delivered by eminent scientists from all over the world, who visit the Depart- ment. Thematic seminars on ethology, behavior, neuronal systems, neuroinformatics and psychophysiology, as well as regular Journal Clubs, are designed to keep track of the modern trends in neuroscience. A two-day integration party combining scientific and social events is organized each spring for all members of the Department. On this occasion Ph.D. students report their annual achievements and awards are given for the best presentations.
Dynamic cooperation with leading international institutes facilitates implementation of new research techniques which are made available to all member of the Institute. These techniques pertain to include histology, in vitro slice electrophysiology, HPLC and modern behavioral setup equipped with digital recording, telemetry and analyzing facilities. The Department has recently established a Polish node of the international neuroinformatics network, INCF (www.neuroinf.pl).
During the last thirty years many international conferences and schools on a variety of neuroscience topics have been organized by our Departmental staff. Staff members serve frequently on committees of international brain research organizations (FENS, EBBS, INCF) and are editorial board members of neuroscience journals (Eur. J. Neurosci., Neuro- informatics, ANE). Importantly, the Polish Neuroscience Society, founded in 1991 by former and current members of the Department, continues successfully its integra- tive and organizational role under the Presidency of Julita Czarkowska-Bauch (2009-2011). The recent successful organization of the first FENS Featured Regional Meeting (2009), annual Brain Awareness Weeks (www.ptbun.org.pl) and the Advanced Course in Computational Neuroscience under auspices of FENS-IBRO (www.neuroinf.pl/accn) have been organized with substantial involvement of the Departmental staff.
Skolimowska J., Węsierska M., Lewandowska M., Szymaszek A., Szeląg E. (2011) Divergent effects of age on performance in spatial associative learning and real idiothetic memory in humans. Behavioural Brain Research, 218: 87-93.
Niewiadomska G., Mietelska-Porowska A., Mazurkiewicz M. (2011) The cholinergic system, nerve growth factor and the cyto- skeleton. Behavioural Brain Research, 221: 515-526.
Wnuk A., Wiater M., Godzińska E.J. (2011) Effect of past and present behavioural specialization on brain levels of biogenic amines in workers of the red wood ant Formica polyctena. Physiological Entomology, 36: 54-61.
Hunt M.J., Falińska M., Kasicki S. (2010) Local injection of MK801 modifies oscillatory activity in the nucleus accumbens in awake rats. Journal Psychopharmacology, 24: 931-941.
Jednoróg K., Marchewka A., Tacikowski P., Grabowska A. (2010) Implicit phonological and semantic processing in children with developmental dyslexia: Evidence from event-related potentials. Neuropsychologia, 48: 2447-2457.
Mochol G., Wójcik D.K., Wypych M., Wróbel A., Waleszczyk W.J. (2010) Variability of visual responses of superior colliculus neurons corresponds to their velocity preferences. Journal of Neuroscience, 30: 3199-3209.
Knapska E., Mikosz M., Werka T., Maren S. (2009) Social modulation of learning in rats. Learning and Memory, 17: 824-831.
Macias M., Nowicka D., Czupryn A., Sulejczak D., Skup M., Skangiel-Kramska J., Czarkowska-Bauch J. (2009) Exercise-induced motor improvement after complete spinal cord transection and its relation to expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and presynaptic markers. BMC Neuroscience, 10: 144.
Gorlewicz A., Włodarczyk J., Wilczek E., Gawlak M., Cabaj A., Majczyński H., Nestorowicz K., Herbik M.A., Grieb P., Sławińska U., Kaczmarek L., Wilczyński G.M. (2009) CD44 is expressed in non-myelinating Schwann cells of the adult rat, and may play a role in neurodegeneration-induced glial plasticity at the neuromuscular junction. Neurobiology of Disease, 34: 245-258.