Synaptic contacts mediate the information transfer between neurons. Since the development of the slice patch clamp technique in the late 1980s, it has been shown that different synaptic connections in mammalian brain show remarkably diverse transmission properties and variable levels of synaptic plasticity, which are possibly adapted to specific tasks of information processing. Dr. Sakaba’s lab aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying the diversity among synapses by applying biophysical techniques to several model synapses: the glutamatergic calyx of Held synapse, the GABAergic cerebellar interneuron-Purkinje cell synapse and synaptic connections between cortical neurons. In addition, they study how the observed diversity in synaptic properties as well as membrane properties of the cells affects information processing in cerebellum and cortex. They try to identify the rule of connectivity pattern within a small ensemble of neurons in cerebellum and cortex.