Sleep and wakefulness influence both cognitive and overall health, yet the mechanisms regulating them are poorly understood. The National Eye Institute has awarded Renata Batista-Brito, Ph.D., a five-year, $2.6 million grant to investigate the role played by long-range inhibitory neurons of the cerebral cortex during sleep and wakefulness.
Dr. Batista-Brito and her colleagues hypothesize that the activity of cortical long-range inhibitory neurons that express SST and nNOS—the so-called SST/nNOS neurons—generate slow cortical rhythms that regulate the transition from the brain’s highly active UP state to its less-active DOWN state. Since those rhythms are believed to affect brain functions including attention, memory, and sensory processing, the activity of SST/nNOS neurons may therefore profoundly influence our sleeping-and-waking lives.
Dr. Batista-Brito is an assistant professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, of genetics, and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Einstein. (1R01EY034617-01)
Posted on: Thursday, March 16, 2023