Invited Symposium: Role of the Basal Forebrain Neurons in Cortical Activation and Behavioural State Regulation



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Introduction: Exploring the Multiple Functions of Basal Forebrain Neurons.

Semba, Kazue (Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Dalhousie University, Canada)

Contact Person: Kazue Semba (semba@is.dal.ca)

The basal forebrain has been implicated in cortical arousal, and more recently, behavioural state control. These functions have been attributed to its cholinergic neurons. However, it is now known that not only cholinergic but also GABAergic neurons in this region project to the cortex. Both types of neurons can also indirectly influence cortical excitability via their direct projections to the thalamus. An obvious next question is: How do these diverse populations of neurons contribute to those functions previously attributed to cholinergic basal forebrain neurons. Further, cholinergic basal forebrain neurons have also been implicated in attention and plasticity. In view of the increasing knowledge of the complexity of the basal forebrain organization and functions, time is ripe to put together and integrate different views. A panel of experts will discuss anatomical, electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural data to understand how the heterogeneous population of basal forebrain neurons could be involved in multiple functions. It is hoped that this symposium will help us determine where consensus exists and opinions differ, and then generate new hypotheses for future studies to understand the multiple roles of the basal forebrain.

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Presentation Number SAsemba0515
Keywords: basal forebrain, acetylcholine, gaba, wakefulness, sleep

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Semba, Kazue; (1998). Introduction: Exploring the Multiple Functions of Basal Forebrain Neurons.. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/semba/semba0515/index.html
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