GUMC Dept of Physiology and Biophysics : Jianyoung Wu, Ph.D.

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Jian-young Wu, Ph.D.
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Jian-young Wu, Ph.D.

Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
Ph.D., Peking University, China, 1986
(202) 687-1614   

Key words for search engines: Jian-young Wu, Jianyoung Wu, Jianyong Wu,voltage-sensitive dye, photodiode array, propagating waves, spiral waves, neocortex, brain slice, optical imaging, oscillations in brain, photo diode array


My laboratory studies the spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal activities in the mammalian neocortex. Large scale neuronal activity is a hallmark of living brain. All cortical functions are carried out by organized activation of large number of neurons. Studying the spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal population activity may provide help in the understanding of normal brain functions such as sensory and motor processing and in pathological disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson°Įs disease.

My general hypothesis is that propagating waves are a basic pattern of population neuronal activity in the neocortex. We use voltage-sensitive dyes and optical imaging techniques to visualize these waves. In the past few years, we have documented a variety of waveforms (e.g., plane wave and spirals) in brain slices during artificially induced oscillations. Using neocortical slices and mathematic models we are studying the initiation of the waves and the factors that control of the propagating direction and velocity.

We are also involved in the development of optical imaging techniques. Imaging propagating waves in intact brain is technically difficult. Other imaging methods (fMRI, PET or MEG) provide inadequate spatiotemporal resolution. We are improving the optical imaging techniques with a hope to visualize the waves in the cortex in vivo during sensory processes and in awake animals while behavioral and cognitive tasks are performed.













Enjoying electrophysiology with very young neuroscientists


Selected Publications:

  • Wu, J.-Y., J.A. London, D. Zecevic, L.B. Cohen, H.-P. Hoepp and C. Xiao. Optical monitoring of neuron activity during the Aplysia gill-withdrawal reflex. Experientia. 44(5), 369 - 375,1988
  • Cohen, L.B. and J.-Y. Wu. One neuron, many units? Nature, 346, 108-109,1990
  • Wu, J.-Y., C.X. Falk, and L.B. Cohen. Neuronal activity during different behaviors in Aplysia: A Distributed Organization? Science, 263:820-823,1994
  • Wu, J.-Y., Y. Tsau, H.P. Hoepp, L.B. Cohen, A.C. Tang and C.X. Falk. Consistency in Nervous system: Trial-to-trial and animal-to-animal variations in the response to repeated application of a sensory stimulus in Aplysia. J. Neuroscience, 14(3):1366-1384,1994
  • Tsau, Y., L. Guan, and J.-Y. Wu. Initiation of Spontaneous Epileptiform Activity in the Neocortical Slice. J.Neurophysiology,80: 978-982,1998 .pdf
  • J.-Y. Wu,L. Guan, and Y. Tsau. Propagating activation during oscillations and evoked responses in neocortical slices. J. Neuroscience,19: 5005-5015,1999 .pdf
  • J.-Y. Wu, L. Guan, L. Bai and Q. Yang. An evoked all-or-none population activity in rat sensory cortical slices. J. Neurophysiology, 86:2461-2474,2001 .pdf
  • Jin, W-j., R-j Zhang and J.-Y. Wu. Voltage-sensitive dye imaging of population neuronal activity in cortical tissue. J. Neuroscience Method, 115 13-27,2002 .pdf
  • Bao, W. and J.-Y. Wu. Propagating wave and irregular dynamics: Spatiotemporal patterns of cholinergic theta oscillations in neocortex, in vitro J. Neurophysiology,90:333-41,2003 .pdf
  • Ma, H. ®CT, C.-H. Wu and , J.-Y. Wu. The Initiation of Spontaneous Epileptiform Events in the Rat Neocortex, In Vivo. J. Neurophysiology, 91:934-45,2004 .pdf
  • Huang, X-Y., W.C. Troy, Q. Yang, H-T. Ma, C.R. Laing, S.J. Schiff and J.-Y. Wu. Spiral Waves in Disinhibited Mammalian Neocortex. J. Neuroscience, 24(44):9897-9902,2004 .pdf Supplimental movies
  • S.J.Schiff, X.-Y. Huang and J.-Y. Wu. Dynamical Evolution of Spatiotemporal Patterns in Mammalian Middle Cortex, Physical Review Letters, 98:178102-1~4,2007 .pdf
  • M.T.Lippert, K. Takagaki, W.-F. Xu, X.-Y. Huang and J.-Y. Wu. Methods for voltage-sensitive dye imaging of rat cortical activity with high signal-to-noise ratio, J. Neurophysiol., 98:502-512,2007 .pdf
  • W.-F. Xu, X.-Y. Huang, K. Takagaki, and J.-Y. Wu. Compression and reflection of visually evoked cortical waves, Neuron, 55:119-129,2007 .pdf Supplimental movies

  • Y. Arai, G.Z. Mentis, J.-Y. Wu, and M.J. O'Donovan. Ventrolateral Origin of Each Cycle of Rhythmic Activity Generated by the Spinal Cord of the Chick Embryo, PLoS ONE, 2(5): e417-1~11 .pdf


Movies: Propagating Waves in Neocortical Slice

For more publications, see the PubMed site: Wu PubMed papers

R updated 07/12/2007