The brain switches its filters for sensory information when going from waking to sleep. Sleep rhythm generators are crucial for this switch. We want to know more about the types of information processed by these day-and-night-working brain areas and how they are modulated by arousal. Therefore, we focus on one of the main sleep rhythm generators: the Thalamic Reticular Nucleus (TRN). The TRN is a GABAergic nucleus that has inhibitory control over the thalamus, but its filtering roles are still obscure.
The aim of this project is to identify novel afferents to the TRN to bring insight into unknown functions of this strategically positioned nucleus. Our tracing experiments show fine-tuned, highly local and divergent trajectories onto and within the TRN. We combine anatomical techniques using immunostainings and tracers with in vitro/in vivo electrophysiology and optogenetic stimulations.