Adenosine; Biological Psychiatry; Cerebral Cortex; Cognition Disorders; Dopamine; GABAergic Neurons; Limbic System; Neuropharmacology; Neurophysiology and behavioral; Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate; Stress, Psychological
I am interested in neuronal circuits engaged in learning, motivation and pro-social behavior. With this respect, a current project interrogates the role of tonic GABA currents in cognitive processing. In addition, I examine the means by which the experience of early-life stress might enhance the risk of developing psychiatric disorders.
To this end, we employ a system as well as a cellular approach in behavioral and genetic murine models, and investigate the dynamics of specific neuronal circuits by a battery of electrophysiological approaches and pharmacological manipulations. As part of Prof. Boehm group, we also have access to confocal and fluorescence microscopes, and to a molecular biology lab.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
- Electrophysiology, in-vivo and ex-vivo single unit recordings from anesthetized rodents;
- Electrophysiology, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from rodent acute slices;
- Cognitive and motivational behavioral tasks;
- Rodent models of stress disorders and psychosis;
- Confocal and fluorescence microscopy
- Role of the medial prefrontal cortex - basolateral amygdala circuit in consolidation of fear extinction (2007)
Source of Funding: Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, NARSAD Young Investigator Award (USA)
- Valenti, O., Zambon, A. & Boehm, S., 2021. Orchestration of Dopamine Neuron Population Activity in the Ventral Tegmental Area by Caffeine: Comparison With Amphetamine. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijnp/pyab049.
- Valenti, O., Mikus, N. & Klausberger, T., 2018. The cognitive nuances of surprising events: exposure to unexpected stimuli elicits firing variations in neurons of the dorsal CA1 hippocampus. Brain Structure and Function, 223(7), pp.3183–3211. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-018-1681-6.
- Valenti, O. et al., 2011. Antipsychotic Drugs Rapidly Induce Dopamine Neuron Depolarization Block in a Developmental Rat Model of Schizophrenia. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(34), pp.12330-12338. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2808-11.2011.
- Valenti, O., Lodge, D.J. & Grace, A.A., 2011. Aversive Stimuli Alter Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neuron Activity via a Common Action in the Ventral Hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(11), pp.4280-4289. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5310-10.2011.
- Valenti, O. et al., 2003. Group III Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor-Mediated Modulation of the Striatopallidal Synapse. The Journal of Neuroscience, 23(18), pp.7218–7226. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.23-18-07218.2003.