Rodolfo R. Llinás, MD, PhD

Charles Hoeffer

Research Professor, Department of Neuroscience & Physiology

550 First Avenue,
Room 442 Medical Science Building
New York, NY 10026
Tel : 263-5415 or 263-5414
Email: or

Research Keywords

cerebellum, magnetoencephalography, single ionic channel, synaptic transmission, thalamus

Research Interests

Intrinsic Properties of Neurons

Research Summary

Research pertains mostly to neuroscience from the molecular to the cognitive level. Focus is on the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of mammalian neurons in vitro, where we correlate ionic conductances with the different molecular structures (channels) responsible for them. In particular, we study the ionic channels that generate some of the sodium and calcium currents responsible for the electrophysiological properties of neurons and their distribution in different cell types (Purkinje-cell and inferior-olivary neurons as well as thalamic and cortical neurons). We also investigate the role of calcium conductance in synaptic transmission in the squid giant synapse, where we demonstrated for the first time the concept of calcium microdomains. At the neuronal-circuit level, we examine cerebellar control of movement and thalamocortical connectivity, as observed in brain slices and isolated wholebrain preparation, using single- and multiple-recording microprobes and ionic-concentration-dependent imaging techniques. We place these studies at the light and ultrastructural levels and analyze them using computer-based mathematical models. At the cognitive level, we focus on thalamocortical interaction and functional mapping in the human brain, using noninvasive magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Selected Publications

  • Sekar K; Findley WM; Llinas RR (2012) Evidence for an all-or-none perceptual response: single-trial analyses of magnetoencephalography signals indicate an abrupt transition between visual perception and its absence. Neurosci. 206:167-182.

  • Schulman, J.J., Cancro, R., Lowe, S., Walton, Kd & Llinás, R. (2011) Block of nmda receptors in the thalamic reticular nucleus produces abnormal thalamocortical rhythms. Frontiers In Neuroscience 5:69, 1-11.

  • Moreno H., Choi S.W.,Yu E., Brusco J., Avila J., Moreira J.E. Sugimori M., & Llinás R. (2011) Blocking effects of human tau on squid giant synapse transmission and its prevention by t-817ma. Frontiers In Synaptic Neuroscience 3: 3, 1-8.   

  • Choi, S., Yu, E., Kim, D., Urbano, F.J., Makarenko, V., Shin, HS. & Llinás, R. (2010) Subthreshold membrane potential oscillations in inferior olive neurons are dynamically regulated by p/q and t-type calcium channels: a study in mutant mice. J. Physiol. 588: 3031-3043.

  • Ivannikov, Maxim V; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinas, Rodolfo R (2010) Calcium clearance and its energy requirements in cerebellar neurons. Cell Calcium 47(6):507-513.