Santamaria Lab

One UTSA circle, Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78458 Phone: +1 (210) 458-6910










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Dendritic structure

& computation

A sample of how we visualize two-photon images of Purkinje cells and Monte Carlo simulations of LTD. Click image to enlarge.

The overall objective of my work is to determine how the structure of neurons affects their computational function. My overall hypothesis is that dendritic structure, from molecular distribution to overall branching patterns, contributes at multiple spatial and temporal scales, in the compartmentalization and integration of biochemical and electrical signals.


The long term motivation of my work is to build a combined computational-experimental framework to quantify how structural changes in neurons affect information processing. For this purpose, my lab has developed computer models and carried out experiments using a wide range of techniques, from modeling reaction diffusion of single molecules to large scale neural network simulations. We combine these computational efforts with experiments to corroborate our predictions from extracellular recordings in vivo to confocal and two-photon microscopy and electrophysiology in vitro.


Presently, my group is developing models to study integration of chemical and electrical signals from synaptic plasticity to spike timing adaptation. Our experimental work is currently focused on understand the connections between synaptic plasticity and changes in intrinsic excitability, and the effects of intracellular chloride dynamics on information processing in the cerebellum.