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Is the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse a detonator in vivo?

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 IN VIVO MOSSY project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the IN VIVO MOSSY project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "IN VIVO MOSSY" about.

techniques    entorhinal    heavily    individual    ca3    synapses    cajal    interneurons    receives    awake    distinguish    simultaneously    boutons    cortical    whereby    minor    presynaptic    preparation    simultaneous    spike    calcium    substantial    mice    photon    synapse    circuit    input    me    single    associative    concerted    repeated    powerful    conclusively    weight    models    synaptic    true    behavior    generally    pyramidal    inconclusive    track    imaging    local    translate    maxim    recognition    action    color    effect    tens    quantify    thousands    active    confirm    trisynaptic    terminals    neurons    termed    optogenetic    spiking    detonation    connection    postsynaptic    implications    learning    rule    detonator    linear    transfer    hypothesis    neuron    firing    memory    manipulation    inputs    pattern    conditional    hippocampus    spatial    additional    mossy    conjunctive    cortex    navigating    subdetonator    navigation    fiber    permit   

Project "IN VIVO MOSSY" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Am Campus 1
postcode: 3400

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Project website
 Total cost 166˙156 €
 EC max contribution 166˙156 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2018-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

A commonly repeated maxim is that an individual cortical neuron receives synaptic input from tens of thousands of presynaptic partners, with each individual connection carrying only minor weight. In that case, concerted firing by many presynaptic neurons is required to cause an action potential in the postsynaptic neuron. However, there is inconclusive evidence that the mossy fiber synapse (the second connection in Cajal’s heavily studied “trisynaptic circuit” of the hippocampus) is powerful enough to translate a single presynaptic spike into a postsynaptic spike - termed “detonation”. If true, this would have substantial implications for our understanding of learning and memory, spatial navigation, and pattern recognition. I propose to use simultaneous two-color, two-photon calcium imaging of presynaptic mossy fiber terminals and postsynaptic CA3 pyramidal neurons in awake mice navigating along a linear track, in order to conclusively confirm or rule out the detonation hypothesis. This preparation will allow me to distinguish between detonator, conditional detonator, and subdetonator synapses, and more generally to quantify the number of simultaneously active mossy fiber boutons necessary to cause CA3 spiking during behavior. These results would have substantial implications for established models of associative memory and spatial navigation, and more generally for information transfer in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the techniques developed will permit future studies whereby the conjunctive effect of additional inputs (e.g. from entorhinal cortex, and local interneurons) can be studied by optogenetic manipulation.

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