Andrea Burgalossi

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Werner-Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience. Tübingen, Germany.


Systems Neuroscience and Cognition

Title of the talk:
Neural circuits and the cognitive map of space: insights from single neurons



Andrea Burgalossi studied Biology at the University of Perugia (Italy). In 2003 he joined the International Molecular Biology PhD Program in Göttingen. During his PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Nils Brose he investigated the molecular mechanisms of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Shortly after graduation, he jumped from “cell culture & molecules” to “whole-brain & behavior”: he joined the laboratory of Prof. Michael Brecht (Berlin), where he contributed to the development of innovative methodologies for studying how single neurons, recorded in freely-moving animals, contribute to cognition and behavior. Since 2013 he is Junior Group Leader at the Werner-Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (Tübingen). His team is currently exploring the cellular mechanisms of spatial representations in the mammalian brain.


Tang Q, Burgalossi A,*, Ebbesen C, Ray S, Naumann R, Schmidt H, Spicher D and Brecht M*
Pyramidal and Stellate Cell Specificity of Grid and Border Representations in Layer 2 of Medial Entorhinal Cortex
(2014) Neuron (in press)

Tang Q, Brecht M* and Burgalossi A*
Juxtacellular recording and morphological identification of single neurons in freely moving rats
(2014) Nature Protocols 9(10):2369-81

Burgalossi A, von Heimendahl M and Brecht M.
Deep layer neurons in the rat medial entorhinal cortex fire sparsely irrespective of spatial novelty
(2014) Frontiers in Neural Circuits 8:74

Ray S*,Naumann R*, Burgalossi A*, Tang Q*, Schmidt H* and Brecht M.
Grid-layout and Theta-modulation of Layer 2 Pyramidal Neurons in Medial Entorhinal Cortex
(2014) Science 343(6173):891-6

Burgalossi A and Brecht M.
Cellular, columnar and modular organization of spatial representations in medial entorhinal cortex.
(2014) Current Opinions in Neurobiology 24:47-54

Brecht M, Ray S, Burgalossi A, Tang Q, Schmidt H, Naumann R
An isomorphic mapping hypothesis of the grid representation
(2013) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 369:20120521

Beed P, Gundlfinger A, Schneiderbauer S, Song J, Böhm C, Burgalossi A, Vida E, Brecht M, Leibold C, Scmitz D.
Inhibitory gradient along the dorsoventral axis of medial entorhinal cortex.
(2013) Neuron 79:1197-207

Herfst L, Burgalossi A,*, Haskic K1, Schmidt M and Brecht M.
Friction-based stabilization of juxtacellular recordings in freely-moving animals.
(2012) Journal of Neurophysiology 108:697-707

Burgalossi A, Jung SJ, Man KN, Nair R, Jockusch WJ, Wojcik SM, Brose N and Rhee JS. Analysis of neurotransmitter release mechanisms by photolysis of caged Ca2+ in an autaptic neuron culture system.
(2012) Nature Protocols 7:1351-65

Burgalossi A*, Herfst L, von Heimendahl M, Förste H, Haskic K, Schmidt M, Brecht M*.
Microcircuits of functionally identified neurons in the rat medial entorhinal cortex.
(2011) Neuron 70:773-86

Burgalossi A, Jung S, Meyer G, Jockusch WJ, Jahn O, Taschenberger H, O’Connor VM, Nishiki T, Takahashi M, Brose N, Rhee JS.
SNARE protein recycling by alphaSNAP and betaSNAP supports synaptic vesicle priming.
(2010) Neuron 68:473-87


The experimental accessibility of internally-generated patterns of activity (i.e. place cells and grid cells) offers an unprecedent opportunity for exploring the mechanisms of a “cognitive map of space” at the cellular, circuit and synaptic level. Experiments in the Burgalossi lab are centered on newly-established techniques for performing juxtacellular recordings from single neurons in freely moving rodents. These methods allow to visualize neuronal circuits in animals engaged in unrestrained, natural behaviours. In combination with anatomical and molecular tools, his research aims at dissecting the structural determinants of cognitive spatial behaviours.

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