Both computational and experimental results in single neurons and small networks demonstrate that very similar network function can result from quite disparate sets of neuronal and network parameters.  Using the crustacean stomatogastric nervous system, we now study the influence of these differences in underlying structure on differential resilience of individuals to a variety of environmental perturbations, including changes in temperature, pH, potassium concentration and neuromodulation.  We show that neurons with many different kinds of ion channels can smoothly move through different mechanisms in generating their activity patterns, thus extending their dynamic range.  


Eve Marder is the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield University Professor at Brandeis University.  Marder was President of the Society for Neuroscience (2008), and on the NINDS Council, numerous Study Sections, and Advisory Boards for institutions in the USA and abroad.  Marder is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Fellows of the Biophysical Society, the American Physiological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She received the Miriam Salpeter Memorial Award for Women in Neuroscience, the W.F. Gerard Prize from the Society for Neuroscience, the George A. Miller Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Karl Spencer Lashley Prize from the American Philosophical Society, Honorary Doctorates from Bowdoin College and Tel Aviv University, the Gruber Award in Neuroscience, the Education Award from the Society for Neuroscience, the Kavli Award in Neuroscience. and the National Academy of Sciences Award in Neuroscience.  Marder served on the NIH working group for the Obama BRAIN Initiative, and is now on the BRAIN Council. 

Marder studies the dynamics of small neuronal networks, and her work was instrumental in demonstrating that neuronal circuits are not “hard-wired” but can be reconfigured by neuromodulatory neurons and substances to produce a variety of outputs.  She combines experimental work with insights from modeling and theoretical studies.   With Larry Abbott, her lab developed the programmable dynamic clamp.  Her lab pioneered studies of homeostatic regulation of intrinsic membrane properties, and stimulated work on the mechanisms by which brains remain stable while allowing for change during development and learning.  Marder now studies how similar network performance can arise from different sets of underlying network parameters, with its relevance for differential resilience in the population.     

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