Our central research goal is to unravel the influence of loss of retinal input on the connectivity/structure and function of the mammalian visual cortex in different visual impairment models (enucleation, hooding, glaucoma). Our research critically challenges the contribution of a uni- and multimodal component to sensory cortex plasticity. Understanding different aspects of cortical plasticity will facilitate the development of treatments for visual disorders that target the eye-brain axis. Our strategy encompasses molecular, cellular and systems approaches using state of the art technology including functional proteomics, tract tracing and molecular/cellular activity mapping in mouse, rat and cat. The lab develops and refines methods relevant to neurobiology research, like optogenetics, which allows manipulating the activity of specific neuronal or glial subtypes. With cortical plasticity being central to learning and memory my lab also invests in implementing this expertise in collaborative research on complex learning.
- Nys J., Aerts J., Ytebrouck E., Vreysen S., Laeremans A., Arckens L. 2014. The cross-modal aspect of mouse visual cortex plasticity induced by monocular enucleation is age dependent. Journal of Comparative Neurology. vol.522 (4) , pp. 950-970
- Woolley D., Laeremans A., Gantois I., Mantini D., Vermaercke B., Op de Beeck H., Swinnen S., Wenderoth N., Arckens L., D'Hooge R. 2013. Homologous involvement of striatum and prefrontal cortex in rodent and human water maze learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. vol.110 (8) , pp. 3131-3136
- Laskowska-Macios K., Zapasnik M., Hu T., Kossut M., Arckens L., Burnat K. 2014. Zif268 mRNA expression patterns reveal a distinct impact of early pattern vision deprivation on the development of primary visual cortical areas in the cat. Cerebral Cortex. vol.25 (10) , pp. 3515-3526
- Vermaercke B., Gerich F., Ytebrouck E., Arckens L., Op de Beeck H., Van den Bergh G. 2014. Functional specialization in rat occipital and temporal visual cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology. vol.112 (8) , pp. 1963-1983
- Van Brussel L., Gerits A., Arckens L. 2011. Evidence for cross-model plasticity in adult mouse visual cortex following monocular enucleation. Cerebral Cortex. vol.21 (9) , pp. 2133-2146