Neuroscience in Denmark

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General information

Name (center, department, group or other)
BrainLab and Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen
Contact name
Maurice Ptito
Contact email
Contact title
29. June 2015

Brief description of research activities

My research interests concern the development and plasticity of the visual system in animal models and humans with congenital or acquired blindness. We are studying sensory substitution ( psychophysics and cognition) and cross-modal plasticity ( brain reorganization) resulting from visual deprivation. We are also in the process of contributing a human "blind brain atlas".
Another line of research deals with the role of the endocannabinoid system (Ecb) in Vision. We have expressed and localized the cannabinoid receptors and their synthesizing enzymes in the retina, the optic nerves and the dLGN of the monkey brain. Behavioral studies on blocking or stimulating the Ecb system are underway.
Lastly, we are currently studying the deleterious effects of alcohol ingestion during pregnancy in voluntary drinking female monkeys. We are also testing drug treatment that would reduce alcohol intake in drinking adult monkeys.

Key words: Vision; blindness; plasticity; behavior; cognition; alcohol; cannabinoids; monkey; mouse; human

Key words: Vision

Research tools and techniques

Brain imaging techniques (fMRI, PET, DTI, DWI)
Electrophysiology (EEG, MEG, ERG)
Histology: tracing techniques, stereology

Scientific Personnel

No of Associate Professors/Postdocs: 6
No of PhD students: 4
Other: 3

Key references from within the last 5 years

1. Kupers R, Chebat DR, Madsen KH, Paulson OB, Ptito M. Neural correlates of virtual route recognition in congenital blindness. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010
107(28): 12716-21.
2. Argaw A, Duff G, Zabouri N, CÚcyre B, ChainÚ N, Cherif H, Tea N, Lutz B, Ptito M, Bouchard JF. Concerted action of CB1 cannabinoid receptor and deleted in colorectal cancer in axon guidance. J Neurosci. 2011; 31(4):1489-99.
3. Lundell H, Nielsen JB, Ptito M, Dyrby TB. Distribution of collateral fibers in the monkey cervical spinal cord detected with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Neuroimage. 2011 56(3): 923-9.
4. Ioannides AA, Liu L, Poghosyan V, Saridis GA, Gjedde A, Ptito M, Kupers R. MEG reveals a fast pathway from somatosensory cortex to occipital areas via posterior parietal cortex in a blind subject. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 7: 429.
5. Slimani H, Danti S, Ricciardi E, Pietrini P, Ptito M, Kupers R. Hypersensitivity to pain in congenital blindness. Pain. 2013 154(10): 1973-8.
6. Kupers R, Ptito M. Compensatory plasticity and cross-modal reorganization following early visual deprivation. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 41:36-52.
7. Meaidi A, Jennum P, Ptito M, Kupers R. The sensory construction of dreams and nightmare frequency in congenitally blind and late blind individuals. Sleep Med. 2014 15(5):586-95.
8. Bouskila J, Javadi P, Palmour RM, Bouchard JF, Ptito M. Standardized Full-field electroretinography in the Green Monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus). PLoS One. 2014 9(10): e111569.
9. Javadi P, Bouskila J, Bouchard JF, Ptito M. The endocannabinoid system within the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the vervet monkey. Neuroscience. 2015 288:135-44.
10. Burke MW, Ptito M, Ervin FR, Palmour RM. Hippocampal neuron populations are reduced in vervet monkeys with fetal alcohol exposure. Dev. Psychobiol. 57(4):470-85

Scherfigsvej 7
2100 Copenhagen Ø
Tel. +45 39 12 80 00
CVR-nr. 11 81 49 13
Nils Axelsen Ralf Hemmingsen Lauritz Holm-Nielsen Ralf Hemmingsen Jens Oddershede Jens Frederik Rehfeld Anders Bj°rklund