2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Undeclared
Mentor: Juliet Knowles (Neurology & Neurological Sciences and Pediatrics – Operations)

“Role of Aberrant Myelin Plasticity in Thalamocortical Hypersynchrony during Absence Seizures”

Myelin plays a key role in stabilizing nerve cell signaling. Dr. Knowles' lab discovered that absence seizures induce aberrant activity-dependent formation of myelin (myelination) specific to the thalamocortical seizure network comprised of neurons in both the thalamus and cortex. Further work demonstrated that activity-dependent myelin plasticity in turn promoted seizure progression. The Knowles lab hypothesizes this occurs because aberrant myelination promotes pathological thalamocortical hypersynchrony which leads to seizures. Veronica will assist with this project by manually annotating mouse brain electrical activity (EEGs) collected by the Knowles lab to label ictal (during seizure) and interictal (between seizure) periods and artifacts. She will use the annotated EEGs to measure coherence between inter-hemispheric electrode pairs before and after seizure onset in the mice using customized Matlab software for coherence analysis in the Knowles’ lab. Results will improve our understanding of how underlying brain activity-induced myelin restructuring promotes hypersynchrony and seizures.