Research Interests

Prof. Dr. Denise Manahan-Vaughan, Neurophysiology, Faculty of Medicine


We focus on the characterisation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity as a learning mechanism. Two types of synaptic plasticity are primarily investigated: long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). We also study metaplasticity (as a higher order modulator of synaptic plasticity).
We have a multidisciplinary approach which incorporates in vivo electrophysiology in freely moving rodents with in vitro electrophysiology using the hippocampal slice preparation, as well as behavioral analysis of learning, confocal microscopy, immunohistochemical, biochemical and molecular biological analysis. We are interested in both the physiology and pathology of learning and memory / synaptic plasticity.
On a physiological level we examine how synaptic plasticity, place cells and neuronal oscillations contribute to learning and how learning drives synaptic plasticity in health and disease. Here in vivo electrophysiology and EEG analysis is combined with behavioral learning models and animal models of brain disorders.