This is an historical archive of the activities of the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit (MRC ANU) that operated at the University of Oxford from 1985 until March 2015. The MRC ANU established a reputation for world-leading research on the brain, for training new generations of scientists, and for engaging the general public in neuroscience. The successes of the MRC ANU are now built upon at the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford.

Brain Prize Public Lecture in Aarhus

Peter Somogyi delivered the Brain Prize public lecture, “Co-operation in science and neuronal societies of the brain" on the 13th of March 2012 to an audience of 940 in the Per Kirkeby Auditorium at Aarhus University as part of their public lecture series. The well-known Danish science reporter and writer Ms Lone Frank questioned Peter after each of the two 40 min presentations. In the first part he presented the challenges of explaining and treating neurological diseases and explained the basic rules of neuronal communication, such as synaptic excitation and inhibition. He showed their classical in vitro experiment on the synchronisation of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus by GABAergic basket cells (Cobb et al., 1995). In the second part he introduced O’Keefe’s discovery of place cells and illustrated how cell assemblies represent behaviour predicitive population signals as shown by the brilliant experiments of Buzsaki’s group (Pastalkova et al., Science, 2008. 321. 1322). He then showed how specific GABAergic cell types differentiate their GABA release times and contribute to population network activity during theta and ripple oscillations. At the end he summarised his concern about the threats to tomorrow’s world and his motto of why he continues to seek new knowledge.