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Sotiris Masmanidis, Ph.D.

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Department / Division Affiliations
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience IDP, Neurobiology
Member, ACCESS Program, Access Neuroscience Home Area, Brain Research Institute, California NanoSystems Institute

Research Interest:

Dynamics of neuronal ensembles in reward circuits

How does the activity of a neuronal ensemble encode the association of a sensory cue with a rewarding stimulus? This phenomenon is critical to our survival and relevant to understanding various neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction. We are interested in understanding associative reward learning mechanisms at the level of large networks of interacting neurons in the basal ganglia and limbic system. But accessing network-level dynamic phenomena requires substantial innovations in the ability to simultaneously monitor electrophysiological activity across large populations of neurons, with high spatiotemporal resolution. The capabilities of existing recording techniques fall short of this objective. We are addressing this challenge with advances in nanotechnology, by deploying minimally invasive instrumentation for large-scale neuronal recordings from deep brain structures.


A. P. Alivisatos et al. Nanotools for neuroscience and brain activity mapping. ACS Nano. 2013; 7: 1850-1866.
K. M. Scott, J. Du, H. A. Lester, S. C. Masmanidis Variability of acute extracellular action potential measurements with multisite silicon probes. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2012; 211: 22-30.
J. Du, T. J. Blanche, R. R. Harrison, H. A. Lester, S. C. Masmanidis Multiplexed, high density electrophysiology with nanofabricated neural probes. PloS one. 2011; 6(10): e26204.
J. Du, M. L. Roukes, S. C. Masmanidis Dual-side and three-dimensional microelectrode arrays fabricated from ultra- thin silicon substrates. Journal of Micromechanics & Microengineering 2009; 19: .
A. S. Sadek, R. B. Karabalin, J. Du, M. L. Roukes, C. Koch, S. C. Masmanidis Wiring nanoscale biosensors with piezoelectric nanomechanical resonators. Nano Letters. 2010; 10(5): 1769-73.
J. Du, I. H. Riedel-Kruse, J. C. Nawroth, M. L. Roukes, G. Laurent, S. C. Masmanidis High-resolution three-dimensional extracellular recording of neuronal activity with microfabricated electrode arrays. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2009; 101(3): 1671-8.