Results Synaptic plasticity

The key objective of this Research Team was to investigate effects of specifically-targeted molecules on synaptic plasticity within single neurons and their surrounding networks in models of cognitive impairment.


This workpackage investigated information processing in neuronal circuits at
many different levels from mRNA to the level of networks underlying behavior. Using different models for impaired information processing, namely Fragile X syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease, the ESRs have focused on current and potentially new therapeutic targets in these disorders and their effects upon the surrounding networks. ESRs visited different partner labs in the host institute throughout 2010‐2012 and all attended the initial and mid‐term meetings together with supervisors Bagni, Meredith & Maskos.

To‐date, 2 ESRs from this workpackage successfully defended their PhDs at the end of 2013 (Giorgio LaFata, Sylvia Lombardo).The remaining ESRs are due to graduate in 2014.

Experimental data from this workpackage are published in peer‐reviewed journals (see
BrainTrain publications list) and also open access, where permitted.


  • Dawitz J, Kroon T, Hjorth JJJ, Meredith RM: Functional calcium Imaging -JoVe publication:
  • Meredith RM1, Dawitz J, Kramvis I. Sensitive time-windows for susceptibility in neurodevelopmental disorders. Trends Neurosci. 2012 Jun;35(6):335-44. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Apr 26.
  • Kramvis I, Mansvelder H, Loos M, Meredith R. Hyperactivity, perseveration and increased responding during attentional rule acquisition in the Fragile X mouse model. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience November 21, 2013.
  • Research teams

    To reach its objectives, the BrainTrain research program is composed of 5 scientific Research Teams, see list below, with 3 trainees each.
  • Genetics of the brain

    The increasing prevalence for neurodegenerative disease in our aging population poses a growing problem for healthcare.
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  • The synaptic interactome

    Many brain disorders are to be considered 'synaptic diseases" or 'synaptopathies' and cellular function of synapses.
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  • Functional genomic of the synapse

    The synapse is a specialized structure between two neurons at which basal neuronal communication takes place.
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  • Synaptic plasticity

    In neuropsychiatric disorders associated with reduced cognitive abilities, such as age-related cognitive decline, but also mental retardation, the ability of synapses to alter their strength is strongly affected.
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  • Transmission and behavioral function

    The etiology of many disorders including age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease is still poorly understood.
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