Gabrielle Gutierrez

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Volen Center for Complex Systems
Brandeis University,
Mailstop 013
415 South Street
Waltham MA 02454

Tel: (781) 736-3134

Fax: (781) 736-3142

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Gutierrez GJ, Marder E (2014) Modulation of a Single Neuron Has State-Dependent Actions on Circuit Dynamics. eNeuro. 1;(1). DOI:

Gutierrez GJ, Marder E (2013) Rectifying electrical synapses can affect the influence of synaptic modulation on output pattern robustness. J Neurosci. 33;(32). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0937-13.2013

Gutierrez GJ, O’Leary T, Marder E (2013) Multiple Mechanisms Switch an Electrically Coupled, Synaptically Inhibited Neuron between Competing Rhythmic Oscillators. Neuron, 77;(5). DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.01.016

Gerhard F, Kispersky T, Gutierrez GJ, Marder E, Kramer M, Eden U (2013) Successful prediction of a physiological circuit with known connectivity from spiking activity alone. PLoS Comput Biol. 9;(7). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003138

Marder E, Goeritz ML, Gutierrez GJ, Hamood A, Brookings T, Haddad S, Kispersky T, and Shruti, S (2012) The Crustacean Stomatogastric Nervous System. IN: Derby, C.D. and Thiel, M. eds. Crustacean Nervous Systems and their Control of Behavior. In press.

Kispersky T, Gutierrez GJ, Marder E (2011) Functional connectivity in a rhythmic inhibitory circuit using Granger causality. Neural Systems & Circuits, 1;(9). DOI: 10.1186/2042-1001-1-9.

Gutierrez GJ, Grashow RG (2009) Cancer borealis stomatogastric nervous system dissection. J Vis Exp. Mar 23;(25). pii: 1207.

Most recently, I have studied the behavioral output of a small model network in which two distinct rhythm-generating pairs of neurons are connected to an oscillating hub neuron with electrical and inhibitory synapses. The two rhythm-generators form distinct oscillator subnetworks and are effectively competing for the allegiance of the hub neuron. I constructed this network computationally so as to simulate a simplified version of the essential neuronal circuitry that is present in the STG of the crab while at the same time, I was able to control and vary the synaptic strengths in the network. These simulations have so far demonstrated the complexity of dynamics that arise when both inhibitory synapses and electrical gap junctions are involved in the interactions of oscillatory subnetworks. Several distinct network behaviors were identified as a function of synaptic and electrical coupling strength. Most importantly, we have found that there are multiple synaptic mechanisms by which a neuron can switch its firing pattern between competing oscillator subnetworks. This study has given us insight into how neurons are able to switch between motor patterns in a multi-functional neuronal circuit.