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Michael Stryker


Michael Stryker, Ph.D,
Program in Neuroscience

Research Summary

Our laboratory's major interest is the in the mechanisms responsible for the development and plasticity of precise connections within the central nervous system, and particularly in the role of neural activity in this process. Most of the work of the laboratory is on the visual cortex of the mouse. In normal development, neural connections to and within the visual cortex are refined to high precision through the action of activity-dependent mechanisms of neural plasticity in combination with specific molecular signals. In our experiments, we induce activity-dependent plasticity experimentally through manipulations of genetics or experience or by pharmacological or neurophysiological intervention in order to discover what cellular mechanisms and what changes in cortical circuitry are responsible for rapid, long lasting changes in neuronal responses. We analyze these changes using microelectrode recordings, novel techniques for measurement of optical and metabolic signals related to neural activity, including 2-photon microscopy and intrinsic signal imaging, and anatomical and neurochemical tracing of connections.

Current experimental work in the laboratory focuses on four areas: (a) Understanding the coupling between the physiological and anatomical changes responsible for neuronal plasticity. (b) Understanding the cellular mechanisms of activity-dependent cortical plasticity, primarily through the use of transgenic mice. (c) Understanding the interaction between neural activity and molecular cues in the formation of cortical maps. (d) Understanding the difference between the limited plasticity in the adult brain and the much greater plasticity during critical periods in early life. Two additional topics are currently dormant. (e) Understanding the mechanism by which sleep promotes cortical plasticity, a phenomenon that we have demonstrated in the primary visual cortex. (f) Understanding the functional organization of visual cortex in animals with highly developed visual systems in relation to models of machine vision.

Selected Publications from 2009-2014 Link to publications via Pubmed

Lee, A.M, Hoy, J.L., Bonci, A., Wilbrecht, L., Stryker,M.P., and Niell, C.M. (2014) Identification of a brainstem circuit regulating visual cortical state in parallel with locomotion. Neuron 83: 455-466. PMID: 25033185 NIHMSID 613439

Kaneko, M. and Stryker, M.P (2014) Sensory experience during locomotion promotes recovery of function in adult visual cortex. eLife 2014;3:e02798 PMCID in process

Fu, Y., Tucciarone, J., Espinosa, J.S., Sheng, N., Darcy, D., Nicoll, R.A., Huang, Z.J., and Stryker, M.P. (2014) A cortical circuit for gain control by behavioral state. Cell 156: 1139–1152. PMC4041382.

Kaneko, M., Xie, Y., An, J.J., Stryker, M.P., and Xu B. (2012) Dendritic BDNF synthesis is required for late-phase spine maturation and recovery of cortical responses following sensory deprivation. J. Neurosci. 32: 4790-4802. PMC3356781.

Kaneko, M., Cheetham, C.E.J., Lee, Y.-S., Silva, A.J., Stryker, M.P., and Fox, K. (2010) Constitutively active H-ras accelerates multiple forms of plasticity in developing visual cortex. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 107: 19026-19031. PMC2973899.

Niell, C.M.and Stryker, M.P. (2010) Modulation of visual responses by behavioral state in mouse visual cortex. Neuron 65: 472-479. PMC3184003.

Sato, M., Stryker, M.P. (2010) Genomic imprinting of experience-dependent cortical plasticity by the ubiquitin ligase gene Ube3a.. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 107: 5611-5616. PMC2851788.

Southwell, D.G., Froemke, R.C., Alvarez-Buylla, A., Stryker, M.P., Gandhi, S.P. (2010) Cortical plasticity induced by inhibitory neuron transplantation. Science 237: 1145-1148. PMC3164148.

Triplett, J.W., Owens, M.T., Yamada, J., Lemke, G., Cang, J., Stryker, M.P. and Feldheim, D.A. (2009) Retinal input instructs alignment of visual topographic maps. Cell, 139: 175-185. PMC2814139.


Southwell, D.G., Nicholas, C.R., Basbaum, A.I., Stryker, M.P., Kriegstein, A.R., Rubenstein, J.L., and Alvarez­Buylla, A. (2014) Interneurons from Embryonic Development to Cell-Based Therapy. Science 334: 1240622 [DOI:10.1126/science.1240622] . PMID: 24723614

Espinosa, J.S. and Stryker, M.P. (2012) Development and plasticity of the visual cortex. Neuron 75: 230-249. PMC3612584

Office Phone:

Center for Integrative Neuroscience
Dept. of Physiology
675 Nelson Rising Lane
Room 415B (Delivery zip 94158)
University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0444

Email Address:

Lab Web Site

Shelley Green
Room 535A
phone: 415.502-7334 shelley.green@ucsf.edu
fax: 415.502-7332