Ronald J. Racine

(Ph.D., McGill)
905-525-9140, ext.23022

Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Research Interests

I am interested in how the brain stores information. My students and I have used model phenomena such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and kindling to study the mechanisms by which synaptic connections are altered by patterned activation. The use of these phenomena allow us to produce controlled changes in synaptic connectivity at known sites. We can then use electrophysiology, anatomy or molecular biology techniques to investigate the mechanisms underlying these changes.

In addition, I am interested in the rules that apply at the network level. What conditions must exist in order for synaptic connectivity to be enhanced? This question leads us to the investigation of the role of discharge pattern, modulatory systems (inhibitory as well as excitatory), and temporal contiguity in memory trace formation.

Other interests include neural network modelling, auditory perception and epilepsy.  


Sample References

1. Weeks, A.C.W., Ivanco, T.L., LeBoutillier, J.C., Racine, R.J. and Petit, T.L. Sequential changes in the synaptic structural profile following long-term potentiation in the rat dentate gyrus: III. Long-term maintenance phase. Synapse, 2000 (in press).

2. Trepel, C. and Racine, R.J. GABAergic modulation of neocortical long-term potentiation in the freely moving rat. Synapse, 2000, 35, 120-128.

3. Ivanco, T.L., Racine, R.J., and Kolb, B. Morphology of layer III pyramidal neurons is altered following induction of LTP in sensorimotor cortex of the freely moving rat. Synapse, 2000, 37, 16-22.

4. Ivanco, T.L. and Racine, R.J. Long-term potentiation in the pathways between the hippocampus and neocortex in the chronically implanted, freely moving, rat. Hippocampus, 2000, 10, 143-152.

5. Froc, D., Chapman, A., Trepel, C. and Racine, R.J. Long-term depression and depotentiation in the neocortex of the chronic preparation. J. Neuroscience, 2000 20, 438-445.

6. Trepel, C. and Racine, R.J. Blockade and disruption of neocortical long-term potentiation following electroconvulsive shock in the adult, freely moving rat. Cerebral Cortex, 1999, 9, 300-305.

7. Racine, R.J., Steingart, M. and McIntyre, D.C. Development of kindling-prone and kindling-resistant rats: selective breeding and electrophysiological studies. Epilepsy Research, 1999, 35, 183-195.

8. Trepel, C. and Racine, R.J. Long-term potentiation in the neocortex of the adult, freely moving rat. Cerebral Cortex, 1998, 8, 719-729.

9. Chapman, C.A., Trepel, C., Ivanco, T.L., Froc, D.J., Wilson, K. and Racine, R.J. Changes in field potentials and membrane currents in rat sensorimotor cortex following repeated tetanization of the corpus callosum in vivo. Cerebral Cortex, 1998, 8, 730-742.