Dr. Santiago Canals Laboratory Plasticity of Brain Networks,Cellular and Systems Neurobiology – The Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante

  • Young Investigator

Plasticity of Brain Networks

  • Laboratory Plasticity of Brain Networks,Cellular and Systems Neurobiology
  • [email protected]
  • +34 965 919202
  • +34 965 919561
  • Spain


Type Title Last updated
Cv Santiago Canals brief CV over 4 years ago

Hint: Click on a document title to download it.

About Dr. Santiago Canals

The work of our group focuses on two research lines: plasticity of brain networks and brain energetics.

How are memories encoded, stored and retrieved in our brains?

Experience-dependent modulations of synaptic strength shape the functional structure of the brain, recruiting relevant networks in a particular context and supporting behavioural adaptation. Little is known, however, about how synapse dynamics are transformed into network dynamics. Recently we have demonstrated that brain circuits involved in learning and memory are functionally reorganized after local potentiation of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. In our current research we aim at investigating the mechanisms underlying this network reorganization, focusing on short- and long-term synaptic plasticity and neuromodulation. To this end we combine functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with electrophysiological techniques and deep brain microstimulation, in murine models of learning and memory.

The same cellular mechanisms that mediate experience-dependent neuroplasticity and allow learning from, and react to, changes in the environment can also be activated by drugs of abuse. Human and animal studies indicate that the refractory nature of addiction results from drug-induced stimulation of reward-related learning networks. As a consequence, drug seeking behaviour becomes hard-wired in the addict’s brain. By applying the same multidisciplinary approach, we are investigating the functional reorganization of brain networks supporting addiction and relapse.

In the second research line we aim at investigating the neurometabolic and neurovascular coupling mechanisms that sustain brain function. Here our interest is twofold; we want to understand the metabolic energy requirement of neuronal signalling and its impact on brain physiology (efficient coding strategies) and pathology (i.e. stroke, anoxia, concussion). On the other hand, we want to know the precise and quantitative neurophysiologic basis of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal to improve the interpretation of fMRI data.

Please see also: http://in.umh.es/grupos-detalle.aspx?grupo=51

5 Selected Publications

Reis S, Hu Y, Babino A, Andrade JA, Canals S, Sigman M, Makse H. (2014) Avoiding catastrophic failure in correlated networks of networks. Nature Physics. doi:10.1038/nphys3081

Jego, P., Pacheco-Torres, J., Araque, A., Canals, S*. (2014) Functional MRI in mice lacking IP3-dependent calcium signalling in astrocytes. J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.144

Martínez-Martínez, M.A., Pacheco, J., Borrell, V., Canals, S*. (2014) Phenotyping the central nervous system of the embryonic mouse by Magnetic Resonance Microscopy. Neuroimage 97:95-106. 

Álvarez-Salvado E., Pallarés V., Moreno A., Canals S. (2013) Functional MRI of long-term potentiation: imaging network plasticity. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. 369:1152-68.

Canals S., Beyerlein M., Merkle H., and Logothetis, NK. (2009) Functional MRI evidence for LTP-induced neural network reorganization. Curr. Biol., 19 (5): 398-403. 

Awards, Fellowship and Honours

2013            Associate Member of the Center for Cognitive & Neural Systems (Edinburgh University)

2005            HFSPO Long-term fellowship

2003            Award of the US Parkinson Disease Foundation to the PhD work

Technical Expertise

  • Electrophysiology (sharp intracellular and extracellular recordings in vitro and in vivo, multi channel recordings in vivo, microdialysis, etc.)
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) contrast
  • Concomitant application of fMRI, electrophysiological recordings and electric microstimulation
  • Manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI) for neuronal-tract tracing in vivo and fMRI in freely behaving animals