Many receptors for neuromodulators are located on dendrites affecting specific ionic currents that in turns shape synaptic integration. Recently we have focused on how norepinephrine affects the dendritic current Ih which is a key current in regulating the excitability of the apical tuft of layer 5 pyramidal neurons. We also explore the effect of dendritic neuromodulators on synaptic plasticity.
The influence of acetylcholine (ACh) on the processing of sensory information is largely unknown. By perturbing the cholinergic system and applying various methods such as two-photon calcium imaging and electrophysiology in vivo, we can get new insights into its different roles. We believe that in order to understand how ACh is involved in the neural code, it is necessary to examine processing on various levels, from single cell to behavior.
The geometry of dendrites as well as the spectrum of ion channels they host allow them to actively participate in the integration of synaptic inputs. This may have important implication on they types of computations carried out by neurons. Currently we are using recent advances in deep learning to better understand dendritic computation