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Instituto de Neurociencias,
UMH-CSIC Unidad de Neurobiología
del Desarrollo CSIC y Universidad Miguel Hernández,
Campus de Sant Joan
03550 - Sant Joan d´Alacant

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Dr Miguel Maravall
The Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante

Research Area

The group’s interests are concerned with analyzing the properties of neuronal circuits responsible for the encoding and transfer of sensory signals in the cerebral cortex.
Of particular interest are the mechanisms underlying the dynamics (adaptation) and plasticity of neuronal sensory responses over timescales corresponding to an animal´s exploration and learning of a novel environment.
The system of choice is the rat barrel cortex; rats are prominently tactile animals, and their barrel cortex offers many advantages and is well established as a model system for studies of cortical sensory representations and plasticity.
Methods used include electrophysiology (patch-clamp and extracellular recordings in acute slices; single-unit recordings in vivo), fluorescence imaging, and quantitative analyses of sensory encoding.


Maravall M., Petersen R.S., Fairhall A.L., Arabzadeh E., Diamond M.E.(2007):Shifts in coding properties and maintenance of information transmission during adaptation in barrel cortex.PLoS Biology 5: e19 (2007, in press).doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050019:

Puccini G.D., Compte A., Maravall M.(2006):Stimulus dependence of barrel cortex directional selectivity, PLoS ONE..doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000137:

Maravall M. , Koh I.Y.Y., Lindquist W.B., Svoboda K(2004):Experience-dependent changes in basal dendritic branching of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons during a critical pe riod for developmental plasticity in rat barrel cortex..Cerebral Cortex 14:655-64:

Technical Expertise