Ede Rancz

Cortical Circuits Laboratory

In order to understand how the brain works, we first need hypotheses about what it is exactly doing. Recently, there has been a shift away from considering the brain as a feed-forward processing device towards a predictive hierarchical generative framework. According to these theories, brains, and especially the cerebral cortex, constantly attempt to match bottom-up sensory input with top-down, internally generated predictions. We are interested in the functional and structural underpinnings of how internally generated and external, sensory information interact in cortex to guide behaviour. We specifically study the visual and vestibular systems and their interaction with the best-studied internal representation: that of space.

Figure 1

In vivo whole cell recording from mouse visual cortex allows us to characterize intrinsic biophysical properties as well as synaptic and spiking responses of individual neurons to visual stimulation (left, scale bars are 20 mV / 200 ms). The presynaptic connectivity of single neurons can be reconstructed following recording (right). Collaboration with Troy Margrie, UCL. (Click to view larger image)

To dissect and interrogate inherently complex cortical networks, we use a multi-scale approach and take advantage of recent technical developments in genetical tools in mice. With the use of cre-driver lines and virally mediated transsynaptic tracing we can map the synaptic partners of single cells and functionally defined neuronal populations to elucidate the underlying rules of such connectivity.

Using genetically encoded biosensors and electrophysiological approaches both in vivo and in vitro we can directly assess the physiological relevance of single cell and network function.

We can also utilise optogenetic activation or silencing of neurons to test the causal relationship between single cell or network activity and function.

Figure 2

Whole brain fMRI during vestibular nerve stimulation in the rat highlights areas of the nervous system activated by vestibular input (left). Electrophysiological recordings of extracellular field potentials (LFP) and eyemovements (EOG) following vestibular stimulation (grey line) of different intensity (right). Collaboration with Santiago Canals, Alicante. (Click to view larger image)

We aim to provide detailed and quantitative description of single neuron and microcircuit function, not only to generate new knowledge, but also to build new models and hypotheses about the hows and whys of the brain.

We are always looking for internally motivated, inquisitive, adventurous and genial people to join our team. Feel free to email us if you want to discuss employment opportunities.

Current research in the lab is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Selected publications

Ede Rancz, Javier Moya, Florian Drawitsch, Alan Brichta, Santiago Canals, Troy Margrie. Widespread vestibular activation of the rodent cortex.
2015. J Neurosci. 35(15):5926-34.

Ede Rancz, Kevin Franks, Martin Schwarz, Bruno Pichler, Andreas Schaefer, Troy Margrie. Transfection via whole-cell recording in vivo: bridging single-cell physiology,genetics and connectomics.
2011. Nat Neurosci. 14(4):527-32.

Jesper Sjöström, Ede Rancz, Arnd Roth, Michael Häusser. Dendritic excitability and synaptic plasticity.
2008. Physiological Reviews 88:769-840.

Ede Rancz, Taro Ishikawa, Paul Chadderton, Ian Duguid, Severine Mahon, Michael Häusser. High-frequency transmission of sensory information by individual cerebellar mossy fibre boutons.
2007. Nature 450(7173):1245- 48.


Ede Rancz

+44 (0)20 379 61567

  • 2002 MSc in Biology, ELTE, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2007 PhD in Neuroscience, University College London, UK
  • 2008 Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, UCL, UK
  • 2012 Senior Investigator Scientist, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 2015 Sir Henry Dale Fellow, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK