Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

Ebner, Ford F., Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Emeritus

Lab Url: N/A

Phone Number: (615) 343-0239

Email Address: ford.ebner@vanderbilt.edu

Ebner, Ford's picture
Academic history
BS, DVM, Washington State University
PhD, University of Maryland

Office Address   Mailing Address

Rooms 19 - 22 Wilson Hall

501 Wilson Hall 37203


Research Keywords
Cortical plasticity, Somatic sensory system, Single unit recording, Effects of sensory deprivation on cortical development, Restoration of function after stroke in animals

Research Description
Experience-related brain plasticity. The brain?s ability to be molded and shaped by experiences is central to the final stages of brain development, and brain circuits continue to be modified by experience throughout life. Dr. Ebner seeks to understand somatic sensory information processing and how plasticity mechanisms are refined by early experiences or degraded and restored after injury. Dr. Ebner uses the whisker to cortex model system in rats to show the effects of early sensory experience on brain function development. Sensory deprivation effects can be induced by trimming a rat's whiskers early after birth, and the low activity interferes with the development of synaptic plasticity, especially the inputs from the deprived whiskers. Prenatal exposure to alcohol, for example, degrades cortical plasticity after the rats mature, and while the effect is similar to peripheral deprivation, the cause is a silent cortex that produces a sensory deprivation-like effects. The inadequate cortical function is viewed as one cause for intellectual disabilities that accompany fetal alcohol syndrome in humans. A similar set of problems occur after stroke-like lesions in the adult cortex. Dr. Ebner seeks to understand common plasticity mechanisms that link developmental disabilities with those that are caused by strokes in the mature brain. Understanding these effects on the brain's ability to modify synaptic function is critically important to the treatment and restoration of function in individuals who have difficulty in learning and remembering.

Publications
Kaas, J., & Ebner, F.. Intrathalamic connections: A new way to modulate cortical plasticity?. Nature Neuroscience,, 1(5), 341-342

Sachdev, R.N.S, R. Berg, G. Champney, D.Kleinfeld and F.F.Ebner. . Bilateral vibrissa movement and EMG during unilateral touch in the behaving rat. . Som. Sen. Motor Res.

Sachdev, R.N.S., Champney, G.C., Lee, H., Price, R.R., Pickens, D.R., Morgan, V.L., Stefansic, J.D., Melzer, P., and Ebner, F.F.. Experimental Model for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Somatic Sensory Cortex in the Unanesthetized Rat. . NeuroImage.

Sachdev, R.N.S., Melzer, P., Jenkinson, E., and Ebner, F.F.. High frequency whisker stimulation reduces the response magnitude of SI neurons in awake rats. J. Neurophysiol.. Neurophysiol.

Li, L, Ebner, FF. Cortical modulation of spatial and angular tuning maps in the rat thalamus. J Neurosci, 27(1), 167-79, 2007

Melzer, P, Mineo, L, Ebner, FF. Optic nerve transection affects development and use-dependent plasticity in neocortex of the rat: Quantitative acetylcholinesterase imaging. Brain Res, 1139, 68-84, 2007

Sellien, H, Ebner, FF. Rapid plasticity follows whisker pairing in barrel cortex of the awake rat. Exp Brain Res, 177(1), 1-14, 2007

Burk, RF, Christensen, JM, Maguire, MJ, Austin, LM, Whetsell, WO, May, JM, Hill, KE, Ebner, FF. A combined deficiency of vitamins E and C causes severe central nervous system damage in guinea pigs. J Nutr, 136(6), 1576-81, 2006

Li, L, Ebner, FF. Balancing bilateral sensory activity: callosal processing modulates sensory transmission through the contralateral thalamus by altering the response threshold. Exp Brain Res, 1-19, 2006

Melzer, P, Champney, GC, Maguire, MJ, Ebner, FF. Rate code and temporal code for frequency of whisker stimulation in rat primary and secondary somatic sensory cortex. Exp Brain Res, 1-17, 2006

Melzer, P, Sachdev, RN, Jenkinson, N, Ebner, FF. Stimulus frequency processing in awake rat barrel cortex. J Neurosci, 26(47), 12198-205, 2006

Li, Lu, Rema, V, Ebner, Ford F. Chronic suppression of activity in barrel field cortex downregulates sensory responses in contralateral barrel field cortex. J Neurophysiol, 2005

Sellien, H, Eshenroder, DS, Ebner, FF. Comparison of bilateral whisker movement in freely exploring and head-fixed adult rats. Somatosens Mot Res, 22(3), 97-114, 2005

Friedberg, Marc H, Lee, Stefan M, Ebner, Ford F. The contribution of the principal and spinal trigeminal nuclei to the receptive field properties of thalamic VPM neurons in the rat. J Neurocytol, 33(1), 75-85, 2004

Rema, V, Armstrong-James, Michael, Ebner, Ford F. Experience-dependent plasticity is impaired in adult rat barrel cortex after whiskers are unused in early postnatal life. J Neurosci, 23(1), 358-66, 2003

Rema, V, Ebner, Ford F. Lesions of mature barrel field cortex interfere with sensory processing and plasticity in connected areas of the contralateral hemisphere. J Neurosci, 23(32), 10378-87, 2003

Sachdev, Robert N S, Berg, Rune W, Champney, Gregory, Kleinfeld, David, Ebner, Ford F. Unilateral vibrissa contact: changes in amplitude but not timing of rhythmic whisking. Somatosens Mot Res, 20(2), 163-9, 2003

Kleinfeld, D., Sachdev, R. N. S., Merchant, L. M., Jarvis, M. R., & Ebner, F. F. . Representation of vibrissa input in motor cortex of alert rat: Evidence for adaptive filtering by a thalamocortical loop. Neuron, 34, 1021-1034.. Neuron, 34, 1021-1034, 2002

Sachdev, Robert N S, Sato, Takashi, Ebner, Ford F. Divergent movement of adjacent whiskers. J Neurophysiol, 87(3), 1440-8, 2002

Benuskova, L., Velayudhan, R., Armstrong-James, M., & Ebner, F. . Theory for normal and impaired experience-dependent plasticity in neocortex of adult rats. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 98(5), 2797-2802.. Proc Nat Acad Sci, 98(5), 2797-2802, 2001

Melzer, P, Morgan, V L, Pickens, D R, Price, R R, Wall, R S, Ebner, F F. Cortical activation during Braille reading is influenced by early visual experience in subjects with severe visual disability: a correlational fMRI study. Hum Brain Mapp, 14(3), 186-95, 2001

Sachdev, R. N. S., Sellien, H., & Ebner, F. F.. Timing and duration of multi-whisker contact monitored in a head-fixed rat. Somatic Sensory Motor Res, 18(2), 93-102.. Somatic Sensory Motor Res, 18(2), 93-102, 2001

Sachdev, RN, Sellien, H, Ebner, F. Temporal organization of multi-whisker contact in rats. Somatosens Mot Res, 18(2), 91-100, 2001

Ebner, F.F., Rema, V., and Armstrong, M. NMDA-type glutamate receptors and use-dependent plasticity in barrel field cortex, in Excitatory Amino Acids in the Cerebral Cortex, MIT Press. (2000)

Sachdev, R N, Egli, M, Stonecypher, M, Wiley, R G, Ebner, F F. Enhancement of cortical plasticity by behavioral training in acetylcholine-depleted adult rats. J Neurophysiol, 84(4), 1971-81, 2000

Sachdev, R N, Sellien, H, Ebner, F F. Direct inhibition evoked by whisker stimulation in somatic sensory (SI) barrel field cortex of the awake rat. J Neurophysiol, 84(3), 1497-504, 2000

Sachdev, R. N. S., Sellien, H., & Ebner, F. F. . Inhibition evoked by whisker stimulation in somatic sensory (SI) barrel field cortex of the awake rat. . J Neurophysiol, 84, 1497-1504, 2000

Sachdev, R., Egli, M., Stonecypher, M., Wiley, R. G., Ebner, F. F.. Use-dependent cortical plasticity in acetylcholine depleted adult rats. . J Neurophysiol, 84, 1971-1981, 2000

Benuskova, L., Ebner, F. F., Diamond, M. E., & Armstrong-James, M. . Computational study of experience-dependent plasticity in adult rat cortical barrel column. . Network: Comput Neural Syst,, 10, 303-323, 1999

Ebner, F. F., & Rema, V. . The effect of early experiences on the development of cortical plasticity. In D. Molfese (Ed.), Dendritic mechanisms in mental retardation and developmental disabilities.. Developmental Psychology,, 1999

Friedberg, M H, Lee, S M, Ebner, F F. Modulation of receptive field properties of thalamic somatosensory neurons by the depth of anesthesia. J Neurophysiol, 81(5), 2243-52, 1999

Kim, U, Ebner, F F. Barrels and septa: separate circuits in rat barrels field cortex. J Comp Neurol, 408(4), 489-505, 1999

Rema, V, Ebner, F F. Effect of enriched environment rearing on impairments in cortical excitability and plasticity after prenatal alcohol exposure. J Neurosci, 19(24), 10993-1006, 1999

Sachdev, R., Jenkinson, E. W., Melzer, P., & Ebner, F. F.. Response properties of barrel field neurons in the awake, behaving rat. . Somatosensory and Motor Research, , 16, 165-168, 1999

Strack, S, Kini, S, Ebner, F F, Wadzinski, B E, Colbran, R J. Differential cellular and subcellular localization of protein phosphatase 1 isoforms in brain. J Comp Neurol, 413(3), 373-84, 1999

Ebner, F. F., Melzer, P., & Price, R. . Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to study typical and atypical brain function in children. . March/April Kennedy Center Newsletter., 1998

Huang, W, Armstrong-James, M, Rema, V, Diamond, M E, Ebner, F F. Contribution of supragranular layers to sensory processing and plasticity in adult rat barrel cortex. J Neurophysiol, 80(6), 3261-71, 1998

Rema, V, Armstrong-James, M, Ebner, F F. Experience-dependent plasticity of adult rat S1 cortex requires local NMDA receptor activation. J Neurosci, 18(23), 10196-206, 1998

Sachdev, R N, Lu, S M, Wiley, R G, Ebner, F F. Role of the basal forebrain cholinergic projection in somatosensory cortical plasticity. J Neurophysiol, 79(6), 3216-28, 1998

Strack, S, Zaucha, J A, Ebner, F F, Colbran, R J, Wadzinski, B E. Brain protein phosphatase 2A: developmental regulation and distinct cellular and subcellular localization by B subunits. J Comp Neurol, 392(4), 515-27, 1998

Burk, R F, Hill, K E, Boeglin, M E, Ebner, F F, Chittum, H S. Selenoprotein P associates with endothelial cells in rat tissues. Histochem Cell Biol, 108(1), 11-5, 1997

Ebner, F. F., Rema, V., Sachdev, R., & Symons, F. J.. Activity-dependent plasticity in adult somatic sensory cortex.. Neurosciences, 9, 47-58, 1997

Strack, S, Westphal, R S, Colbran, R J, Ebner, F F, Wadzinski, B E. Protein serine/threonine phosphatase 1 and 2A associate with and dephosphorylate neurofilaments. Brain Res Mol Brain Res, 49(1-2), 15-28, 1997

Benuskova, L., Diamond, M. E., Ebner, F. F. . Computational study of plasticity in barrel cortex. . Intelligent technolgies, vol. II: Proceedings of the 1st Slovak Neural Network Symposium, 1996

Ebner, F. F. . Teaching the brain to learn. Peabody J of Educ, 71(4), 143-151.. Peabody J of Educ, 71(4), 143-151, 1996

Oster-Granite, M. L., & Ebner, F. F. . Development processes and the pathophysiology of mental retardation. In: Animals models for the study of mental retardation. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Review, 2(4), 197-208.. the study of mental retardation. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Review, 2(4), 197-208, 1996

Rema, V, Ebner, F F. Postnatal changes in NMDAR1 subunit expression in the rat trigeminal pathway to barrel field cortex. J Comp Neurol, 368(2), 165-84, 1996

Rema, V., Ebner, F. F., & Armstrong-James, M.. NMDA-type gultamate receptors and use-dependent plasticity in barrel field cortex. . T. P. Hicks & F. Conti (Eds.), Excitatory amino acids in the cerebral cortex , 245-252, 1996

Strack, S, Wadzinski, B E, Ebner, F F. Localization of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, calcineurin, in the hindbrain and spinal cord of the rat. J Comp Neurol, 375(1), 66-76, 1996

Rema, V., Eb.Immunolocalization of NMDA receptors in the rat brain: Developmental changes in NMDAR1 subunit expression in the rat trigeminal pathway to barrel field cortex. J. Neurosci. (1994)

Armstrong-James, M., Diamond, M. and Ebner, F. An innocuous bias in whisker sensation modifies receptive fields of adult rat barrel cortex neurons. J. Neurosci., (11)(14), 6978-6991, 1994

Benuskov?!, L, Diamond, M E, Ebner, F F. Dynamic synaptic modification threshold: computational model of experience-dependent plasticity in adult rat barrel cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 91(11), 4791-5, 1994 PMCID:43874

Diamond, M.E., Huang, W. and Ebner, F.F. Laminar comparison of somatosensory cortical plasticity. 265, Science, 1885-1888, 1994

Lee, S M, Friedberg, M H, Ebner, F F. The role of GABA-mediated inhibition in the rat ventral posterior medial thalamus. I. Assessment of receptive field changes following thalamic reticular nucleus lesions. J Neurophysiol, 71(5), 1702-15, 1994

Lee, S M, Friedberg, M H, Ebner, F F. The role of GABA-mediated inhibition in the rat ventral posterior medial thalamus. II. Differential effects of GABAA and GABAB receptor antagonists on responses of VPM neurons. J Neurophysiol, 71(5), 1716-26, 1994

Ebner, F.F. (1993) Restoring plasticity in connections between grafts and damaged sensory cortex. In NIH Workshop on Transplantation, J. Marwah, ed., CRC Press.

Friedberg, M.H., Lee, S.M. and Ebner, F.F. Anesthetic stage as a determinant of VPM receptive field properties in the rat. J. Neurophysiol (1993)

Friedberg, M.H., Lee, S.M. and Ebner, F.F. Contribution of the trigeminal subnucleus interpolaris pathway to cortically-dependent behavior and receptive field properties. J. Comp. Neur. (1993)

Friedberg, M.H., Lee, S.M. and Ebner, F.F. The contribution of the trigeminal subnuclei principalis and interpolaris to the receptive field properties of thalamic VPM neurons. J. Comp. Neur. (1993)

Diamond, M E, Armstrong-James, M, Ebner, F F. Experience-dependent plasticity in adult rat barrel cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 90(5), 2082-6, 1993 PMCID:46025

Diamond, M E, Armstrong-James, M, Budway, M J, Ebner, F F. Somatic sensory responses in the rostral sector of the posterior group (POm) and in the ventral posterior medial nucleus (VPM) of the rat thalamus: dependence on the barrel field cortex. J Comp Neurol, 319(1), 66-84, 1992

Diamond, M E, Armstrong-James, M, Ebner, F F. Somatic sensory responses in the rostral sector of the posterior group (POm) and in the ventral posterior medial nucleus (VPM) of the rat thalamus. J Comp Neurol, 318(4), 462-76, 1992

Lee, S.M. & Ebner, F.F. Induction of high frequency activity in the somatosensory thalamus of rats in vivo results in long-term potentiation of responses in SI cortex. Exp. Br. Res., 90, 253-261, 1992

Lee, S. M., Weisskopf, M. G., & Ebner, F. F. Horizontal long-term potentiation of responses in rat somatosensory cortex. Brain Research, 544(2), 303-310, 1991

Diamond, M., & Ebner, F. F. Emergence of radial and modular units in the neocortex. NATO Conference on Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Neocortex, Monta Rosa, Italy In B. L. Finlay, et al. (Eds.) The Neocortex. Plenum Press. , 159-171, 1990

Ebner, F. F., & Armstrong-James, M. Intracortical processes regulating the integration of sensory information. Progress in Brain Research, NIA Conference on Aging and Plasticity in Cortex, 86, 129-141, 1990

Lee, S. M., & Ebner, F. F. Response characteristics of neocortical graft neurons to host somatosensory input. Progress in Brain Research, 82, 301-308, 1990

Ross, D., & Ebner, F. F. Thalamic retrograde degeneration following cortical injury. Neuroscience, 353, 525-550, 1990

Ebner, F. F., Erzurumlu, R., & Lee, S. M. Peripheral nerve damage induces functional CNS regeneration. Proceedings National Academy Science, 86, 730-734, 1989

Armstrong-James, M., Ross, D., Chen, F., & Ebner, F. F. The effect of thiamine deficiency on the structure and physiology of the rat forebrain. Metabolic Brain Disease, 3, 91-124, 1988

Clinton, R., & Ebner, F. F. Development of cholinergic innervation in normal and transplanted mouse neocortex. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 277, 557-577, 1988

Ebner, F. F. Thalamic fiber connections with embryonic neocortical grafts. M. Bentivoglio & R. Spreafico, (Eds.), Cellular Thalamic Mechanisms, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers, 518-533, 1988

Ebner, F. F. The development of functional connections between transplanted embryonic and mature cortical neurons. D. M. Gash & J. R. Sladek, (Eds.), Progress in Brain Research, 78, 3-11, 1988

Erzurumlu, R. S., & Ebner, F. F. Maintenance of discrete somatosensory maps in subcortical relay nuclei is dependent on an intact sensory cortex. Developmental Brain Research, 44, 302-308, 1988

Erzurumlu, R. S., & Ebner, F. F. Peripheral nerve transection induces innervation of embryonic neocortical transplants by specific thalamic fibers in adult mice. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 272, 536-544, 1988

Hohmann, C. F., & Ebner, F. F. Basal forebrain lesions facilitate adult host fiber ingrowth into neocortical transplants. Brain Research, 448, 53-66, 1988

Bear, M. F., Cooper, L. N., & Ebner, F. F. A Physiological basis for a theory of synapse modification. Science, 237, 42-48, 1987


Postdoctoral Position Available
No

Postdoctoral Position Details
N/A

Updated Date
10/10/2007