Benjamin Scholl, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
Perelman School of Medicine
Department of Neuroscience
415 Curie Blvd. CRB Room 217B
Philadelphia, PA 19104
B.S. (Physics)
University of Oregon, 2008.
Ph.D. (Neuroscience)
University of Texas, Austin, 2015.
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Description of Research Expertise

I am interested in mechanisms of cortical sensory processing: How do neurons transform information from the world and into electrical activity used to mediate perception and behavior. Previously I worked in the auditory system, but I now focus on the visual system. I have studied the primary visual cortex in a number of mammalian species and am a proponent of the power of comparative analyses.

My lab studies the presynaptic network. Each neuron receives a wide collection of inputs. These inputs can drive, suppress, or subtly modulate their target. The suite of operations neurons can perform are defined by these inputs and their dynamics. Outside network dynamics, the only way a neuron can dramatically change its operational capacity is through plasticity of these inputs. Thus, to understand how individual neurons and circuits transform information, we must build a fundamental understanding of the presynaptic network. I believe this knowledge will extend beyond fundamentals and lead to novel insights into circuits in neurological and developmental disorders.

Our work uses a variety of techniques to study sensory processing within single cells and across large-scale populations in vivo. Historically this has been with electrophysiology (intracellular and extracellular recordings) and multiphoton calcium imaging. Now we have expanded to two-photon optogenetics using 3D holography, functional connectomics with electron microscopy, novel viral constructs, and gene editing to disrupt naturally expressed proteins and receptors.

Selected Publications

Scholl B, Thomas CI, Ryan MA, Kamasawa N, and Fitzpatrick D: Cortical response selectivity derives from strength in numbers of synapses. Nature DEC 16 2021.

Scholl B and Fitzpatrick F: Cortical synaptic architecture supports flexible sensory computations. Current Opinion in Neurobiology OCT 01 2020.

Laviv, T, Scholl, B, Parra-Bueno, P, Foote, B, Zhang, CQ, Yan, L, Hayano, Y, Chu, J, and Yasuda, R: In Vivo Imaging of the Coupling between Neuronal and CREB Activity in the Mouse Brain. Neuron 105(5): 799-+ MAR 4 2020.

Scholl, B, Wilson, DE, Jaepel, J, Fitzpatrick, D: Functional Logic of Layer 2/3 Inhibitory Connectivity in the Ferret Visual Cortex. Neuron 104(3): 451-+ NOV 6 2019.

Marvin, JS, Scholl, B, Wilson, DE, Podgorski, K, Kazemipour, A, Muller, JA, Schoch, S, Quiroz, FJU, Rebola, N, Bao, H, Little, JP, Tkachuk, AN, Cai, E, Hantman, AW, Wang, SSH, DePiero, VJ, Borghuis, BG, Chapman, ER, Dietrich, D, DiGregorio, DA, Fitzpatrick, D, Looger, LL: Stability, affinity, and chromatic variants of the glutamate sensor iGluSnFR. Nature Methods 15(11): 936-+ NOV 2018.

Wilson, DE, Scholl, B, Fitzpatrick, D: Differential tuning of excitation and inhibition shapes direction selectivity in ferret visual cortex. Nature 560(7716): 97-+ AUG 2 2018.

Scholl, B, Wilson, DE, Fitzpatrick, D: Local Order within Global Disorder: Synaptic Architecture of Visual Space. neuron 96(5): 1127-+ DEC 6 2017.

Scholl, B, Pattadkal, JJ, Priebe, NJ: Binocular Disparity Selectivity Weakened after Monocular Deprivation in Mouse V1. journal of neuroscience 37(27): 6517-6526, JUL 5 2017.

Lu, RW, Sun, WZ, Liang, YJ, Kerlin, A, Bierfeld, J, Seelig, JD, Wilson, DE, Scholl, B, Mohar, B, Tanimoto, M, Koyama, M, Fitzpatrick, D, Orger, MB, Ji, N: Video-rate volumetric functional imaging of the brain at synaptic resolution. nature neuroscience 20(4): 620-+ APR 2017.

Scholl, B, Pattadkal, JJ, Rowe, A, Priebe, NJ: Functional characterization and spatial clustering of visual cortical neurons in the predatory grasshopper mouse Onychomys arenicola. journal of neurophysiology 117(3): 910-918, MAR 1 2017.

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Last updated: 01/05/2022
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