Diego Contreras, MD, PhD

faculty photo
Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Department of Neuroscience
211 Clinical Research Building
415 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Fax: (215) 573 2015
Lab: (215) 573 8780
University Autonoma of Madrid, Spain, 1988.
Laval University, Quebec, Canada, 1996.
Permanent link
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Description of Research Expertise

cortex, thalamus, optical, information, coding, epilepsy

Representation of information in thalamocortical networks. Epilepsy.

Intracellular and optical recordings in vivo.

My lab's focus is on the cellular basis of information representation in the visual system. In particular, we are interested in (i) the role of inhibitory circuits in thalamus and thalamorecipient layer 4 of primary visual cortex, (ii) the dynamic properties of thalamocortical synapses, and (iii) the role of intrinsic electrophysiological properties (such as the T-type calcium current) in visual responses. Responses to visual stimuli are recorded from cortex and thalamus with combined intracellular, extracellular and optical recordings using voltage sensitive dyes in vivo.
We also study the mechanisms by which neural networks engage in the abnormal, paroxystic activity that characterizes epilepsy. We are particularly interested in the cellular and network mechanisms underlying seizure initiation and propagation in adult neocortex as well as the cellular basis of thalamocortical seizures.

Selected Publications

Taylor, M. M., Sedigh-Sarvestani, M., Vigeland, L., Palmer, L. A., Contreras, D.: Inhibition in Simple Cell Receptive Fields Is Broad and OFF-Subregion Biased. J Neurosci 38(3): 595-612, 2018.

Bessaih, T., Higley, M. J., Contreras, D.: Millisecond precision temporal encoding of stimulus features during cortically generated gamma oscillations in the rat somatosensory cortex. J Physiol 596(3): 515-534, 2018.

Bink, H., Sedigh-Sarvestani, M., Fernandez-Lamo, I., Kini, L., Ung, H., Kuzum, D., Vitale, F., Litt, B., Contreras, D.: Spatiotemporal evolution of focal epileptiform activity from surface and laminar field recordings in cat neocortex. J Neurophysiol 119(6): 2068-2081, 2018.

Welle, C. G., Contreras, D.: New Light on Gamma Oscillations. Neuron 93(2): 247-249, 2017.

Sedigh-Sarvestani, M., Vigeland, L., Fernandez-Lamo, I., Taylor, M. M., Palmer, L. A., Contreras, D.: Intracellular, In Vivo, Dynamics of Thalamocortical Synapses in Visual Cortex. J Neurosci 37(21): 5250-5262, 2017.

Barz, C. S., Bessaih, T., Abel, T., Feldmeyer, D., Contreras, D.: Sensory encoding in Neuregulin 1 mutants. Brain Struct Funct 221(2): 1067-81, 2016.

Denman, D. J., Contreras, D.: On Parallel Streams through the Mouse Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Front Neural Circuits 10: 20, 2016.

Vanleer, A. C., Blanco, J. A., Wagenaar, J. B., Viventi, J., Contreras, D., Litt, B.: Millimeter-scale epileptiform spike propagation patterns and their relationship to seizures. J Neural Eng 13(2): 026015, 2016.

Welle, C. G., Contreras, D.: Sensory-driven and spontaneous gamma oscillations engage distinct cortical circuitry. J Neurophysiol 115(4): 1821-35, 2016.

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Last updated: 11/26/2018
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