Dr Samit Chakrabarty
Lecturer in Neuroscience
School of Biomedical Sciences
Background: A systems neurophysiologist, studying plasticity and interaction between the spinal circuits and their modulators – the sensory inputs from periphery and descending inputs from brain. PhD – University of Cambridge; Postdoc – Columbia University, NYC; Spinal Cord Research Centre, Winnipeg, Canada; Visiting Associate Professor – Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen; Research Associate Professor – Columbia University, NYC
You can read more about Dr Chakrabarty’s interests here:
Neurophysiology of Motor control
Motor action and role of spinal interneurones
A motor act is successful when an organism evades a predator, catches a prey, plays the violin or hurls insults. Motor action is only possible when the spinal motor effectors or motoneurones are active. To actively adjust their output depending on the need during a task, requires that these motoneurones are modulated, from moment to moment, either by feedback from the periphery or feedforward commands from the higher brain structures.
These regulatory inputs and their effect on the motoeneurones is what we study in my group, for both walking and reaching in humans and in animal models of developmental disorders and ageing. The ultimate goal is to decipher the underlying operating principles, which can then be used to better the therapies and interventions towards restoring motor control in people suffering from movement disorders.
CHANGES IN INTERNEURON POPULATION AFFECTS MOTOR OUTPUT. Examining the role of changing interactions between excitatory and inhibitory pospulatins of neurons within the spinal cord and its effects on segmental motor output.
Previously, we have shown that changing neuron counts and phenotypes in the spinal cord affects the motor output from the spinal segment during development. We are examining if this is true in disease states and ageing.
BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH exploring new diagnostic tools for neurologists and undertsanding neurological dysfunctions like Cerebral Palsy (http://www.fbs-wp.leeds.ac.uk/cpres/)
MATHEMATICAL MODELS OF BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. We are using the data generated from our biological experiments and developing a stochastic model. This allows to examine likely interactions between populations leading to changing motor outputs which are then verified experimentally.
APPLICATIONS. We work with Engineers to develop better smarter prosthetic devices and micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) electrodes to facilitate recording and stimulation towards the same.