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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.

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

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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