The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory  ::  MIT

Arnie Heynen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor (Research)


tel 617-324-7005

room 46-3297

Research Interests
A fundamental question in neurobiology is understanding how experience alters the functional connectivity between neurons within the brain. Although there is now considerable evidence supporting the idea that some forms of information storage within the brain involve persistent, activity-dependent alterations in the efficacy of synaptic transmission, the detailed mechanisms which underlie these experience-dependent modifications in synaptic strength have yet to be fully identified. My research has concentrated on studying the mechanisms underlying activity-dependent regulation of synaptic efficacy in vivo, using both the hippocampus and visual cortex as model systems, with the long-term aim of understanding how sensory experiences leave a trace on the brain.

Recent Publications
Coleman JE, Nahmani M, Gavornik JP, Haslinger R, Heynen AJ, Erisir A, Bear MF.  Rapid structural remodeling of thalamocortical synapses parallels experience-dependent functional plasticity in mouse primary visual cortex.  J Neurosci. 2010 Jul 21;30(29):9670-82.

Yoon BJ, Smith GB, Heynen AJ, Neve RL, Bear MF.  Essential role for a long-term depression mechanism in ocular dominance plasticity.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 16;106(24):9860-5.

Linden ML, Heynen AJ, Haslinger RH, Bear MF.  Thalamic activity that drives visual cortical plasticity.  Nat Neurosci. 2009 Apr;12(4):390-2.

Smith GB, Heynen AJ, Bear MF.  Bidirectional synaptic mechanisms of ocular dominance plasticity in visual cortex.  Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Feb 12;364(1515):357-67. Review.

Liu CH, Heynen AJ, Shuler MG, Bear MF.  Cannabinoid receptor blockade reveals parallel plasticity mechanisms in different layers of mouse visual cortex.  Neuron. 2008 May 8;58(3):340-5.

Whitlock JR, Heynen AJ, Shuler MG, Bear MF.  Learning induces long-term potentiation in the hippocampus.  Science. 2006 Aug 25;313(5790):1093-7.

Iny K, Heynen AJ, Sklar E, Bear MF.  Bidirectional modifications of visual acuity induced by monocular deprivation in juvenile and adult rats.  J Neurosci. 2006 Jul 12;26(28):7368-74.

Heynen AJ, Yoon BJ, Liu CH, Chung HJ, Huganir RL, Bear MF. Molecular mechanism for loss of visual cortical responsiveness following brief monocular deprivation. Nat Neurosci. 2003 Aug;6(8):854-62.

Heynen AJ, Bear MF. Long-term potentiation of thalamocortical transmission in the adult visual cortex in vivo. J Neurosci. 2001 Dec 15;21(24):9801-13.

Rozas C, Frank H, Heynen AJ, Morales B, Bear MF, Kirkwood A. Developmental Inhibitory Gate Controls the Relay of Activity to the Superficial Layers of the Visual Cortex. J Neurosci. 2001 Sep 1;21(17):6791-801.

Heynen AJ, Quinlan EM, Bae DC, Bear MF. Bidirectional, activity-dependent regulation of glutamate receptors in the adult hippocampus in vivo. Neuron. 2000 Nov;28(2):527-36.

Wu L, Wells D, Tay J, Mendis D, Abbott MA, Barnitt A, Quinlan E, Heynen A, Fallon JR, Richter JD. CPEB-mediated cytoplasmic polyadenylation and the regulation of experience-dependent translation of a-CamKII mRNA at synapses. Neuron. 1998 Nov;21(5):1129-39.

Heynen AJ, Abraham WC, Bear MF. Homosynaptic long-term depression in adult hippocampus in vivo. Nature. 1996 May 9;381(6578):163-6.