Rahul Gupta

Postdoctoral research associate

Google scholar

A neuron typically receives tens of thousands of synapses from several presynaptic neurons. However, the mechanisms underlying the selective learning of the neuron to a vast variety of input spike patterns are still unclear. The differential learning not only involves neuron-wide global mechanisms but also a rich set of local mechanisms at play within a short stretch of dendrite carrying multiple synapses. This is exactly where I am interested, to study how the dynamics of synaptic plasticity at neighbouring synapses may mutually influence each other, leading to complex synergistic as well as competitive interactions at multiple spatial and temporal scales to shape the local dendritic learning. Further, I am also interested in understanding how the local and global mechanisms may simultaneously interact with each other and to what extent the local mechanisms are independent in shaping learning. In this effort, a major strategy will be construction of data-constrained analytical models as well as detailed biophysical models. This work is generously supported by Leverhulme Trust.

I pursued my Ph.D. in the area of computational neuroscience at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. It primarily focussed on the biophysical mechanisms of the excitatory synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in model CA1 synapses in mammalian hippocampus. Regarding synaptic transmission, I studied the influence of macromolecular crowding and geometrical irregularities at synaptic clefts on the glutamate transients and postsynaptic potentials. The study on synaptic plasticity dealt with the dynamics of AMPA receptor crowding and highlighted a significant contribution of receptor self-crowding to synaptic receptor accumulation at excitatory postsynaptic densities. Besides synaptic phenomena, I studied the effect of voltage perturbations on the null space embedded in the dynamics of a pair of diffusively coupled Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. I also worked on the modelling of cortical activity underlying the cognitive operation of working memory and its dopaminergic modulation.