Posts classified under: Integrative Biology & Physiology

Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, Ph.D.


Mechanisms of Neural Repair Role of Trophic Factors on Activity-dependent Plasticity We are interested on the mechanisms by which environmental factors affect neuronal health. We have found that trophic factors endogenous to the brain and spinal cord can be induced by the practice of select behaviors. We have recently reported that physical activity, learning, and nutritional factors control neurotrophins in the brain. These findings opened the exciting possibility that regulation of trophic factors by behavior can be a pivotal mechanism by which specific experiences can impact the structure and function of the CNS. It may account for the improvement of CNS function after trauma provided by rehabilitative therapies. On the contrary, it may explain the decay in function in aging or degenerative diseases following a lack of stimulation. These two avenues provide direction for my research program: 1) How trophic factors induced by activity can help functional recovery following brain and spinal cord trauma. We are using several exercise models to boost the production of trophic factors in the brain and spinal cord. Our goal is to provide critical information to guide the design of behavioral therapies for the reduction of the severity of insult or disease, and to increase CNS function. 2) We are evaluating the effects of lifestyle on trophic factor production, with resulting effects on circuit remodeling, synaptic function, and cognition. We believe that changes in trophic factor as a result of select experiences can affect neuronal health with profound consequences for cognitive function.

Elaine Hsiao, Ph.D.


A selected list of publications:

Hsiao Elaine Y   Gastrointestinal issues in autism spectrum disorder Harvard review of psychiatry, 2015; 22(2): 104-11.
Yano Jessica M, Yu Kristie, Donaldson Gregory P, Shastri Gauri G, Ann Phoebe, Ma Liang, Nagler Cathryn R, Ismagilov Rustem F, Mazmanian Sarkis K, Hsiao Elaine Y   Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis Cell, 2015; 161(2): 264-76.
Hsiao Elaine Y, McBride Sara W, Hsien Sophia, Sharon Gil, Hyde Embriette R, McCue Tyler, Codelli Julian A, Chow Janet, Reisman Sarah E, Petrosino Joseph F, Patterson Paul H, Mazmanian Sarkis K   Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders Cell, 2013; 155(7): 1451-63.
Hsiao Elaine Y   Immune dysregulation in autism spectrum disorder International review of neurobiology, 2013; 113(7): 269-302.
Garay Paula A, Hsiao Elaine Y, Patterson Paul H, McAllister A K   Maternal immune activation causes age- and region-specific changes in brain cytokines in offspring throughout development Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2013; 31(7): 54-68.
Hsiao Elaine Y, Patterson Paul H   Placental regulation of maternal-fetal interactions and brain development Developmental neurobiology, 2012; 72(10): 1317-26.
Hsiao Elaine Y, McBride Sara W, Chow Janet, Mazmanian Sarkis K, Patterson Paul H   Modeling an autism risk factor in mice leads to permanent immune dysregulation Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012; 109(31): 12776-81.
Malkova Natalia V, Yu Collin Z, Hsiao Elaine Y, Moore Marlyn J, Patterson Paul H   Maternal immune activation yields offspring displaying mouse versions of the three core symptoms of autism Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2012; 26(4): 607-16.
Hsiao Elaine Y, Patterson Paul H   Activation of the maternal immune system induces endocrine changes in the placenta via IL-6 Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2011; 25(4): 604-15.
Ito Hiroshi T, Smith Stephen E P, Hsiao Elaine, Patterson Paul H   Maternal immune activation alters nonspatial information processing in the hippocampus of the adult offspring Brain, behavior, and immunity, 2010; 24(6): 930-41.

Walter Metzner, Ph.D.


A selected list of publications:

Hage Steffen R, Jiang Tinglei, Berquist Sean W, Feng Jiang, Metzner Walter   Ambient noise induces independent shifts in call frequency and amplitude within the Lombard effect in echolocating bats Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2013; 110(10): 4063-8.
Liu Ying, Feng Jiang, Metzner Walter   Different auditory feedback control for echolocation and communication in horseshoe bats PloS one, 2013; 8(4): e62710.
Hage Steffen R, Metzner Walter   Potential effects of anthropogenic noise on echolocation behavior in horseshoe bats Communicative & integrative biology, 2013; 6(4): e24753.
Kobayasi Kohta I, Hage Steffen R, Berquist Sean, Feng Jiang, Zhang Shuyi, Metzner Walter   Behavioural and neurobiological implications of linear and non-linear features in larynx phonations of horseshoe bats Nature communications, 2012; 3(18): 1184.
Yamase Hiroyuki, Metzner Walter   Fermi-surface truncation from thermal nematic fluctuations Physical review letters, 2012; 108(18): 186405.
Jiang Tinglei, Metzner Walter, You Yuyan, Liu Sen, Lu Guanjun, Li Shi, Wang Lei, Feng Jiang   Variation in the resting frequency of Rhinolophus pusillus in Mainland China: effect of climate and implications for conservation The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2010; 128(4): 2204-11.
Luo Feng, Metzner Walter, Wu Feijian, Wu Feijian J, Zhang Shuyi, Zhang Shuyi Y, Chen Qicai, Chen Qicai C   Duration-sensitive neurons in the inferior colliculus of horseshoe bats: adaptations for using CF-FM echolocation pulses Journal of neurophysiology, 2008; 99(1): 284-96.
Ma, J. Liang, B. Zhang, S. Metzner, W.   Dietary composition and echolocation call design of three sympatric insectivorous bat species from China, Ecological Research, 2007; DOI 10.1007/s11284-007-0344-5: .
Dell’Anna Luca, Metzner Walter   Electrical resistivity near Pomeranchuk instability in two dimensions Physical review letters, 2007; 98(13): 136402.
Smotherman Michael, Kobayasi Kohta, Ma Jie, Zhang Shuyi, Metzner Walter   A mechanism for vocal-respiratory coupling in the mammalian parabrachial nucleus The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2006; 26(18): 4860-9.
Ma, J. Zhang, J. Liang, B. Zhang, L. Zhang, S. Metzner, W.   Dietary characteristics of Myotis ricketti in Beijing, North China, Journal of Mammalogy, 2006; 87: 339-344.
Ma Jie, Kobayasi Kohta, Zhang Shuyi, Metzner Walter   Vocal communication in adult greater horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology, 2006; 192(5): 535-50.
Smotherman Michael, Metzner Walter   Auditory-feedback control of temporal call patterns in echolocating horseshoe bats Journal of neurophysiology, 2005; 93(3): 1295-303.
Gozalo Alfonso S, Schwiebert Rebecca S, Metzner Walter, Lawson Gregory W   Spontaneous, generalized lipidosis in captive greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) Contemporary topics in laboratory animal science / American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 2005; 44(6): 49-52.
Ma, Jie Metzner, W. Liang, B. Zhang, L. Zhang, J. Zhang, S. Shen, J..   Differences in diet and echolocation in four sympatric bat species and their respective ecological niches, Acta Zoologica Sinica, 2004; 50(2): 145-150.
Tian, L. Liang, B. Maeda, K. Metzner, W. Zhang, S.   Molecular studies on the classification of Miniopterus schreibersii (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences, Folia Zoologica, 2004; 53(3): .
Smotherman Michael, Zhang Shuyi, Metzner Walter   A neural basis for auditory feedback control of vocal pitch The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2003; 23(4): 1464-77.
Ma, Jie Jones, G. Zhang, S. Shen, J. Metzner, W. Zhang, L. Liang, B.   Dietary analysis confirms that Rickett’s big-footed bat (Myotis ricketti) is a piscivore, Journal of Zoology (London), 2003; 261(3): 245-248.
Smotherman Michael, Metzner Walter   Effects of echo intensity on Doppler-shift compensation behavior in horseshoe bats Journal of neurophysiology, 2003; 89(2): 814-21.
Smotherman, M. Metzner, W.   Fine control of call frequency by horseshoe bats, Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 2003; 189: 435-446.
Metzner Walter, Zhang Shuyi, Smotherman Michael   Doppler-shift compensation behavior in horseshoe bats revisited: auditory feedback controls both a decrease and an increase in call frequency The Journal of experimental biology, 2002; 205(Pt 11): 1607-16.
Krahe Rüdiger, Kreiman Gabriel, Gabbiani Fabrizio, Koch Christof, Metzner Walter   Stimulus encoding and feature extraction by multiple sensory neurons The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2002; 22(6): 2374-82.
Kreiman, G. Krahe, R. Metzner, W. Koch, C. Gabbiani, F.   Robustness and variability of neuronal coding by amplitude-sensitive afferents in the weakly electric fish eigenmannia J Neurophysiol, 2000; 84(1): 189-204.
Gabbiani, F. Metzner, W.   Encoding and processing of sensory information in neuronal spike trains J Exp Biol, 1999; 202(# (Pt 10)): 1267-79.
Metzner, W.   Why are there so many sensory brain maps? Cell Mol Life Sci, 1999; 56(1-2): 1-4.
Metzner, W. Koch, C. Wessel, R. Gabbiani, F.   Feature extraction by burst-like spike patterns in multiple sensory maps J Neurosci, 1998; 18(6): 2283-300.
Metzner, W.   Measuring distance in two dimensions Nature, 1998; 395(6705): 838-9.
Juranek, J. Metzner, W.   Segregation of behavior-specific synaptic inputs to a vertebrate neuronal oscillator J Neurosci, 1998; 18(21): 9010-9.
Metzner, W. Juranek, J.   A sensory brain map for each behavior? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 1997; 94(26): 14798-803.
Juranek, J. Metzner, W.   Cellular characterization of synaptic modulations of a neuronal oscillator in electric fish, J Comp Physiol A, 1997; 181(4): 393-414.
Metzner, W.   Anatomical basis for audio-vocal integration in echolocating horseshoe bats, Journal of Comparative Neurology, 1996; 368(2): 252-69.
Gabbiani, F. Metzner, W. Wessel, R. Koch, C.   From stimulus encoding to feature extraction in weakly electric fish Nature, 1996; 384(6609): 564-7.
Heiligenberg, W. Metzner, W. Wong, C. J. Keller, C. H.   Motor control of the jamming avoidance response of Apteronotus leptorhynchus: evolutionary changes of a behavior and its neuronal substrates J Comp Physiol A, 1996; 179(5): 653-74.
Metzner, W.   An audio-vocal interface in echolocating horseshoe bats, Journal of Neuroscience, 1993; 13(5): 1899-915.
Metzner, W.   The jamming avoidance response in Eigenmannia is controlled by two separate motor pathways Journnal of Neuroscience, 1993; 13(5): 1862-78.
Metzner, W.   Echolocation behaviour in bats, Science Progress, 1991; 75(298): 453-465.
Krull, D. Schumm, A. Metzner, W. Neuweiler, G.   Foraging areas and foraging behavior in the notch-eared bat Myotis emarginatus, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 1991; 28(4): 247-254.
Metzner, W.   A possible neuronal basis for Doppler-shift compensation in echo-locating horseshoe bats, Nature, 1989; 341(6242): 529-32.
Neuweiler, G. Metzner, W. Heilmann, U. Rubsamen, R. Eckrich, M. Costa, H.H.   Foraging behaviour and echolocation in the rufous horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus rouxi, of Sri Lanka, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 1987; 20: 53-67.
Metzner, W. Radtke-Schuller, S.   The nuclei of the lateral lemniscus in the rufous horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus rouxi. A neurophysiological approach, Journal of Comparative Physiology. a, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 1987; 160(3): 395-411.

Gina Poe, Ph.D.


Gina Poe has been working since 1995 on the mechanisms through which sleep serves memory consolidation and restructuring. Dr. Poe is a southern California native who graduated from Stanford University then worked for two post-baccalaureate years at the VA researching Air Force Test Pilots’ brainwave signatures under high-G maneuvers. She then earned her PhD in Basic Sleep in the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program at UCLA under the guidance of Ronald Harper then moved to the University of Arizona for her postdoctoral studies with Carol Barnes and Bruce McNaughtons looking at graceful degradation of hippocampal function in aged rats as well as hippocampal coding in a 3-D maze navigated in the 1998 space shuttle mission. She brought these multiunit teachings to answer a burning question of whether REM sleep were for remembering or forgetting and found that activity of neurons during REM sleep is consistent both with the consolidation of novel memories and the elimination of already consolidated memories from the hippocampus, readying the associative memory network for new learning the next day. Moving first to Washington State University then to the University of Michigan before joining UCLA in 2016, Poe has over 80 undergraduates, 6 graduate students, and 6 postdoctoral scholars, and has served in university faculty governance as well as leading 5 different programs designed to diversify the neuroscience workforce and increase representation of people of the global majority in the STEM fields. At UCLA she continues research and teaching and Directs the COMPASS-Life Sciences and BRI-SURE programs and co-Directs the MARC-U*STAR program. Nationally she is course director of the Marine Biological Lab’s SPINES course and co-Directs the Society for Neuroscience’s NSP program which earned the nation’s highest mentoring honor in 2018. These programs have served over 600 PhD level trainees over the years.

Research Interests

The Poe lab investigates the mechanisms by which sleep traits serve learning and memory consolidation. Memories are encoded by the pattern of synaptic connections between neurons. We employ tetrode recording and optogenetic techniques in learning animals to see how neural patterns underlying learning are reactivated during sleep, and how activity during sleep influences the neural memory code. Both strengthening and weakening of synapses is important to the process of sculpting a network when we make new memories and integrate them into old schema. Results from our studies suggest that while synaptic strengthening can be efficiently accomplished during the waking learning process, the synaptic weakening part of memory integration requires conditions unique to sleep. The absence of noradrenaline during sleep spindles and REM sleep as well as the low levels of serotonin during REM sleep allow the brain to integrate new memories and to refresh and renew old synapses so that we are ready to build new associations the next waking period. Memory difficulties involved in post-traumatic stress disorder, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and even autism involve abnormalities in the sleep-dependent memory consolidation process that my lab studies. Keywords: Sleep, learning and memory, PTSD, memory consolidation, reconsolidation, REM sleep, sleep spindles, Norepinephrine, LTP, depotentiation, reversal learning, optogenetics, electrophysiology, tetrode recordings, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex.


B.A., Human Biology, Stanford University 1987
Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles 1995

Selected Publications

Cabrera Y, Holloway J, Poe GR (2020) ‘Sleep Changes Across the Female Hormonal Cycle Affecting Memory: Implications for Resilient Adaptation to Traumatic Experiences.’ J Womens Health (Larchmt), 29 (3): 446-451. PMID: 32186966

Swift KM, Keus K, Echeverria CG, Cabrera Y, Jimenez J, Holloway J, Clawson BC, Poe GR () ‘Sex differences within sleep in gonadally-intact rats.’ Sleep, 2019.PMID: 31784755

Swift KM, Gross BA, Frazer MA, Bauer DS, Clark KJD, Vazey EM, Aston-Jones G, Li Y, Pickering AE, Sara SJ, Poe GR (2018) ‘Abnormal Locus Coeruleus Sleep Activity Alters Sleep Signatures of Memory Consolidation and Impairs Place Cell Stability and Spatial Memory.’ Curr Biol, 28 (22): 3599-3609.e4. PMID: 30393040

Zaborszky L, Gombkoto P, Varsanyi P, Poe GR, Role L, Ananth M, Rajebhosale P, Talmage D, Hasselmo M, Dannenberg H, Minces V, Chiba A, “Specific basal forebrain-cortical cholinergic circuits coordinate cognitive operations”, J Neurosci, 38 (44): 9446-9458 (2018).

Lewis P, Knoblich G, Poe GR, “Recasting reality: how memory replay in sleep boosts creative problem solving”, Trends Cogni Sci, 22 (6): 491-503 (2018).

Bjorness TE, Booth V, Poe GR (2018) ‘Hippocampal theta power pressure builds over non-REM sleep and dissipates within REM sleep episodes.’ Arch Ital Biol, 156 (3): 112-126. PMID: 30324607

Poe GR (2017) ‘Sleep Is for Forgetting.’ J Neurosci, 37 (3): 464-473. PMID: 28100731

Javanbakht, A and Poe, GR, “Behavioral neuroscience of circuits involved in arousal regulation”, The Neurobiology of PTSD, Ressler, K and Liberzon, I(Eds.), 130-147 (2016).

Emrick JJ, Gross BA, Riley BT, Poe GR (2016) ‘Different Simultaneous Sleep States in the Hippocampus and Neocortex.’ Sleep, 39 (12): 2201-2209. PMID: 27748240

Vanderheyden WM, George SA, Urpa L, Kehoe M, Liberzon I, Poe GR (2015) ‘Sleep alterations following exposure to stress predict fear-associated memory impairments in a rodent model of PTSD.’ Exp Brain Res, 233 (8): 2335-46. PMID: 26019008.

Watts A, Gritton HJ, Sweigart J, Poe GR (2012) ‘Antidepressant suppression of non-REM sleep spindles and REM sleep impairs hippocampus-dependent learning while augmenting striatum-dependent learning.’ J Neurosci, 32 (39): 13411-20. PMID: 23015432

Booth V, Poe GR (2006) ‘Input source and strength influences overall firing phase of model hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells during theta: relevance to REM sleep reactivation and memory consolidation.’ Hippocampus, 16 (2): 161-73. PMID: 16411243