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Staffan Johansson

The research group investigates the electrical signals of neurons and the role ion channels and ion transporters play for the generation of these signals.

The project includes analysis of central neurotransmission and its modulation dependent on neuronal activity (functional synaptic plasticity) and on signaling molecules. Such modulation is necessary for normal nervous function and for our ability to learn and store memories, but may in some cases give rise to pathologic conditions, such as epilepsy or chronic pain, where neuronal excitability is raised. The aim of the research is to clarify the mechanisms underlying neuronal communication under normal conditions and also to clarify the causes underlying raised excitability. The methods used are primarily electrophysiological, with patch-clamp techniques to study neuronal impulses and membrane currents including those through individual ion channels. In addition, we use fluorescence microscopy, biochemical methods and computer-based simulations of neuronal activity. The research group collaborates with groups in St Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Paris.