Engineered neuronal circuits: Experimental bottom-up neuroscience
Abstract: Neural networks consist of enormously elaborate systems of neurons and glia cells. Although the mechanisms and the nature of their activity have been intensively investigated in recent decades at the individual cell level, the underlying principles of the collective activity, such as the synchronization and coordination between cells, are largely unknown. Using novel network engineering techniques we formed and studied networks with different connectivity patterns. Foremost, we found that small clusters made of as few as 20 cells already exhibit spontaneous collective events characterized by innate coherent network oscillations in the range of 25 to 100 Hz. Moreover, in engineered networks we identified asymmetric activity and a strong link between network topology and gating.