Alex Chubykin Webpage

I am a neuroscientist at MIT, interested in understanding how synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity shape neural circuits and affect their function in a healthy brain and during disease.

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News Update 03/02/13:

Neuron, 2013 Feb 20;77(4):723–735.

A Cholinergic Mechanism for Reward Timing within Primary Visual Cortex

Chubykin AA*, Roach EB*, Bear MF, Hussain Shuler MG. * - Equal contribution.

Neurons in rodent primary visual cortex (V1) relate operantly conditioned stimulus-reward intervals with modulated patterns of spiking output, but little is known about the locus or mechanism of this plasticity. Here we show that cholinergic basal forebrain projections to V1 are necessary for the neural acquisition, but not the expression, of reward timing in the visual cortex of awake, behaving animals. We then mimic reward timing in vitro by pairing white matter stimulation with muscarinic receptor activation at a fixed interval and show that this protocol results in the prolongation of electrically evoked spike train durations out to the conditioned interval. Together, these data suggest that V1 possesses the circuitry and plasticity to support reward time prediction learning and the cholinergic system serves as an important reinforcement signal which, in vivo, conveys to the cortex the outcome of behavior.

A Cholinergic Mechanism for Reward Timing within Primary Visual Cortex

Pavlov's Rats? Rodents Trained to Link Rewards to Visual Cues

Chubykin AA*, Roach EB*, Bear MF, Hussain Shuler MG. A Cholinergic Mechanism for Reward Timing within Primary Visual Cortex. * - Equal contribution.

Osterweil EK, Chuang SC, Chubykin AA, Bianchi R, Krueger DD, Wong RKS, Bear MF.           
Lovastatin Blocks Epileptogenesis in a Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome.