Douglas L. Oliver, Ph.D.Professor of Neuroscience
Director, UConn Neuroscience in Salamanca Spain Study Abroad
Academic Office Location:
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3401
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Neuroscience in Salamanca Spain
- Education & Training
- Committees & Organizations
- Lab Rotations
The general goal of our lab is to understand how information about sound is processed by the brain. The inferior colliculus (IC) is at the center of the auditory pathway and integrates all information about sound since it must pass through the IC to travel to the cerebral cortex. We are part of an international effort to unlock the secrets of this part of the brain.
Neurobiology of auditory system
Structure and function of CNS sensory neurons.
Microcircuitry and network organization.
Ionic currents and channel expression and their role in information processing.
Neurobiology of hearing and deafness.
|B.A.||Emory University||Psychology with High Honors|
|Fellowship||Duke University||NIMH Trainee, Research Training Program in the Sciences Related to the Nervous System|
|Fellowship||Duke University||NIMH Predoctoral Fellow|
|Fellowship||Harvard Medical School||NIH Research Fellow|
|Fellowship||University of Connecticut Health Center||NIH Research Fellow|
|Name of Award/Honor||Awarding Organization|
|Member||Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering|
|Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science||AAAS|
|Visiting Professor, MRC Toxicology Unit||University of Leicester|
|Visiting Professor||University of Salamanca, Spain|
|Visiting Professor||University of Salamanca, Spain|
|Visiting Professor||University of Salamanca, Spain|
|Name & Description||Category||Role||Type||Scope||Start Year||End Year|
|Journal of Histology and Histopathology||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||2013||2014|
|NIDCD, Communication Disorders Review Committee - CDRC||Study Section||Reviewer||External||National||2013||2013|
|NIH CSR ZRG1-IFCN-B-02M Sensorimotor Integration Study Section||Study Section||Reviewer||External||National||2013||2013|
|PhD Program Admissions Committee||Education Committee||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2013||2016|
|Dean's Council||Medical School Council||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2012|
|Frontiers in Neural Circuits||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||2012||2012|
|NIDCD, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2013/01 ZDC1 SRB-R (38), October 26, 2012||Study Section||Reviewer||External||National||2012||2012|
|Public Issues Council||Medcial School Council||Chair||UConn Health Center||University||2012||2015|
|Journal of Neurotransmission||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||2011||2013|
|Journal of Physiology||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||2011||2013|
|Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2012/01 ZRG1 MDCN-E (96) S (R15 AREA grants)||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||2011||2013|
|Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Program Committee||Program Committee||Member||External||International||2010||2013|
|NIDCD Small Grant (R03) review panel||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||2010||2010|
|Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, Special Edition Editor||Associate Editor||External||National||2009||2010|
|Neuroscience PhD Program Executive Committee||Education Committee||Curriculum Committee Chair||UConn Health Center||University||2009||2014|
|Public Issues Council||Medical School Council||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2009||2011|
|Committee for Undergraduate Medical Education (CUME)||Education Committee||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2008||2012|
|IT Research Advisory Committee||Advisory Committee||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2008||2014|
|Merit and Compensation Appeals Committee, Medical School||Advisory Committee||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2008||2014|
|NIDCD, Special Emphasis Panel /Scientific Review Group ZDC1 SRB-Y||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||2007||2007|
|Admissions Committee, Medical School||Standing Committee||Member||UConn Health Center||University||2004||2012|
|Admissions Interviewer, Medical School, MD and MD/PhD||Interviewer||UConn Health Center||University||2004||2014|
|Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology||Associate Editor||External||National||2003||2006|
|Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology||Journal||Reviewer||External||National||2003||2013|
|NIH, IFCN-6 Study Section||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||2002||2002|
|NIH, NCRR, P41 Special Study Section||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||1999|
|European J. Neuroscience||Journal||Reviewer||External||National||1998||2012|
|NIH, IFCN-6 Study Section||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||1998|
|NIH, NCRR, P41 Special Study Section||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||1998|
|NIMH, Special Section, Innovative Approaches for Microscopic Tract-Tracing||Study Section||Grant Reviewer||External||National||1997|
|Journal of Neuroscience||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||1996||2013|
|Central Nervous System Subject Committee (i.e. Course), 2nd Year Medical/Dental School.||Chair||UConn Health Center||University||1991||1996|
|Neuroscience Computer Network||Organizer||UConn Health Center||University||1988|
|Journal of Comparative Neurology||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||1986||2013|
|Journal of Neurophysiology||Journal||Reviewer||External||International||1984||2014|
(1) Studies of the neurons, brain microcircuits, and synaptic organization of the auditory midbrain.
(2) Studies mechanisms that control the postsynaptic neurons in the auditory midbrain.
(3) In vivo whole cell recording of synaptic responses to sound stimuli.
Our lab is known for studies that combine morphology, electrophysiology, and sometimes molecular biology. Neurons are studied in vivo so that we can use sound to identify their function. Experimental methods include auditory physiology with extracellular recording as a routine part of anatomical experiments, cell attached recording, whole-cell recording, and optogenetics in vivo to study synaptic function and plasticity. Neurons are also studied in vitro in brain slices with whole cell recording and optogenetics so that we can study cell function and networks in isolation. These physiology methods allow us to ask questions about how neurons or microcircuits with different function may also differ morphologically. For morphology, we use histology for tract tracing in CNS tissue, in situ hybridization to identify neurons with different patterns gene expression, and immunohistochemistry to isolate neurons or synaptic structures of different types. Optical methods include brightfield, darkfield, epi-fluorescence, infrared differential interference contrast, and confocal microscopy. We frequently use advanced image processing and 3D reconstruction tools. We also use a number of strains of transgenic mice in which specific neuron types of morphologically or functionally labeled.
Note: Summer research requires participation in the UCONN Neuroscience in Salamanca Spain summer program.
Neuroscience projects that could turn into a dissertation:
1. Ask how specific neuron types function to process information about sound. Use optogenetics, cell attached, and whole-cell recording to identify GABAergic and non-GABA neurons in the inferior colliculus in vivo and study their role in sound processing. Recover neurons postmortem to investigate their morphology.
2. Ask whether synapses with a unique location on neurons also have unique functional properties. Investigate the function of specialized axosomatic synapse on large GABA neurons in the inferior colliculus in brain slices with optogenetics and whole cell recording.
3. Ask whether functional zones exist in the inferior colliculus. Map synaptic domains in the inferior colliculus defined by synaptic inputs of different types or from different sources with immunohistochemistry, track tracing, and advance image processing.
4. Ask how neuronal function is influenced by neuron type and the convergence of different types of neurons. Investigate synaptic function of inferior colliculus neurons in inhibitory domains in vitro in the brain slice using optogenetics, pharmacology, and advanced histological and microscopic methods.
5. Ask whether neurons in the inferior colliculus differ in the distribution of synaptic inputs on the dendrites. Map inhibitory synapse on identified neurons in inferior colliculus with high resolution light microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and transgenic mice.
Students who wish to formulate their own novel questions about the synaptic organization of the auditory system are more than welcome.
|Title or Abstract||Type||Sponsor/Event||Date/Year||Location|
|New concepts for neural circuits in the auditory midbrain||Lecture||Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences||2014||UConn, Storrs CT|
|Optogenetic Exploration of the Auditory Brain||Plenary Lecture||UCHC Department of Neuroscience Retreat||2013||Mark Twain House, Hartford CT|
|Brain Microcircuits and Function in the Auditory System||Talk||UCONN BME Seminar||2013||UCONN Storrs, CT|
|Synaptic Organization and Parallel Pathways in the Auditory Midbrain||Talk||Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Beckman Institute||2012||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Synaptic Organization in the Inferior Colliculus||Talk||Depts. of Otology and Laryngology and Neurobiology||2012||Harvard Medical School, Boston MA|
|New concepts for neural circuits in the inferior colliculus||Talk||Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology||2011||Northeast Ohio Medical University|
|New Concepts for Neural Circuits in the Inferior Colliculus||Talk||Center for Hearing and Balance||2011||Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine|
|Neuroscience Symposium series||Talk||University of Connecticut Health Center||2011||University of Connecticut Health Center|
|New concepts for neural circuits in the Inferior Colliculus||Talk||Department of Biomedical Engineering||2011||Boston University|
|New concepts for neural circuits in the Inferior Colliculus||Talk||Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic||2011||Prague, Czech Republic|
|New concepts for neural circuits in the Inferior Colliculus||Talk||Ninth International Workshop on Auditory Processing||2011||Cody, Wyoming|
|Neuroscience Symposium series||Talk||University of Connecticut Health Center||2009||University of Connecticut Health Center|
|Symposium to Honor Kent Morest||Talk||George Washington School of Medicine||2009||Washington, DC.|
|NEUROSCIENCE – An important field for biomedical engineering||Talk||Biomedical Engineering Society||2009||University of Connecticut|
|Presentation to Premedical Society about UCONN Neuroscience in Salamanca Spain||Talk||Premedical Society||2009||University of Connecticut|
|From Cochlea to Cortex: Recent Advances in Auditory Neuroscience||Talk||Medical Faculty and the Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN)||2008||University of Oslo, Oslo Norway|
|Neuroscience Symposium series||Talk||University of Connecticut Health Center||2008||University of Connecticut Health Center|
|The Auditory Brain - a Tribute to Dexter Irvine||Talk||A Satellite Meeting to IBRO||2007||Melbourne Australia|
|Neuroscience Symposium series||Talk||Neuroscience Symposium series||2005||University of Connecticut Health Center|
|Neuroscience Symposium series||Talk||Neuroscience Symposium series||2004||University of Connecticut Health Center|
|The Third Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms in Central Auditory Function, Plasticity and Disorders||Talk||The Third Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms in Central Auditory Function, Plasticity and Disorders||2004||Jackson Hole, Wyoming|
|Mathematical Biosciences Institute workshop on "The Auditory System."||Talk||The Ohio State University||2003||The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.|
|International Symposium on the Central Auditory System: The Inferior Colliculus||Talk||University of Salamanca, Spain||2001||University of Salamanca, Spain|
|Neuroscience Symposium series||Talk||University of Connecticut Health Center||2001||University of Connecticut Health Center|
|Anatomical Methods for Research in Otolaryngology||Talk||Association for Research in Otolaryngology||1999||Midwinter Meeting of the Assoc.Res. Otolaryngology|
|The 2nd Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms in Central Auditory Function and Plasticity||Talk||The 2nd Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms in Central Auditory Function and Plasticity||1999||Park City, Utah|
|Acoustical Signal Processing in the Central Auditory System||Talk||International Symposium, Acoustical Signal Processing in the Central Auditory System||1996||Prague, Czech Republic|
|The Mammalian Cochlear Nuclei: Organization and Function||Talk||NATO Advanced Research Workshop||1991||Salamanca, Spain|
|Brown University, Neuroscience Section||Talk||Brown University, Neuroscience Section||1978||Brown University|