Subcortical Modulation

Group 37
Leader: Viktor Varga

Workgroup of in vivo physiology

In order to adapt to an ever-changing environment we have to store only relevant information that is key to our survival. Subcortical modulation, by influencing all stages of cortical information processing, is indispensable for the selection, storage and recall of information. Our lab aims to unravel the operational principles of subcortical modulation by studying how the hippocampus, the center of the brain's episodic memory circuitry, is influenced by subcortical modulators. We focus on the connection between the hippocampus and two of its main modulatory inputs, the medial septum and the median raphe. The former is thought to be pivotal for orchestrating the activity of hippocampal coding neuronal assemblies whereas the latter may affect the storage of certain types of information.

We deploy in vivo patch clamp recording in unanesthetized animals as well as the registration of large populations of neurons in freely moving mice by high channel count silicone electrode arrays. To decipher causal relationships between modulatory and hippocampal circuits we manipulate modulator neurons by light-addressable proteins. By high temporo-spatial resolution behavioral tracking we can explore the behavioral correlates of subcortical modulation.

Our ultimate goal is to get closer to the understanding of the process through which the collection of stimuli that bombards us in every moment of our life is transformed into life-changing experiences.


  • NKFIH FK (Albert Barth)
  • NKFIH K (Viktor Varga)

Workgroup members:

Albert Miklós BarthSenior Research Fellow
Márta JelitaiSenior Research Fellow
Viktor VargaSenior Research Fellow, PI
Flóra Mária VásárhelyiPhD Student