Contact

Dr. Nelson Totah

Address: Spemannstr. 38
72076 Tübingen
Room number: 233
Phone: +49 7071 601 1677
Fax: +49 7071 601 652
E-Mail: nelson.totah

 

Picture of Totah, Nelson, Dr.

Nelson Totah

Position: Postdoctoral Fellow  Unit: Logothetis

Education

2012    Ph.D.             UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Department of Neuroscience

Dissertation: “Prefrontal control of preparatory attention and coordination with the ventral tegmental area”

Committee: Dr. Bita Moghaddam (Advisor), Dr. Carl Olson, Dr. Bard Ermentrout, Dr. Anthony Grace, Dr. German Barrionuevo, Dr. Cyriel Pennartz (University of Amsterdam)

2004    B.S.                EMORY UNIVERSITY, Atlanta, GA, USA

Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology

Professional Appointments

Post-Doctoral Fellow MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR BIOLOGICAL CYBERNETICS, Tuebingen, Germany

(2012-present)           Department of Physiology of Cognitive Processes

Research performed in laboratory of Prof. Nikos Logothetis.

“The effects of spatial attention on stimulus encoding in rat barrel cortex and on relationships between barrel cortex and locus coeruleus norepinephrine neuron spiking.” Funded by Marie Curie Grant (E.U. equivalent of an U.S. NIH K01 Grant).

Founder/ Director      INSTITUTE ON NEUROSCIENCE, Atlanta, GA, USA

(2003-2006)               An 8-week education program for high school students. Educational research was performed.

Founder                     SCIENCE NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY, INC., Houston, TX, USA

(1997-present)           A non-profit organization that works to improve science education. 750+ schools in 41 states.

Public Service

Medic                         UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, Atlanta, GA

(2001-2011)               Disaster Medical Assistance Teams provide medical care in austere environments during natural disasters and acts of terrorism. Deployments include Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans, 2005)

Grants

04. 2013 – 03. 2015   Marie Curie Grant PIIF-GA-2012-331122), European Union’s 7th Framework Funding Scheme (E.U. equivalent of an U.S. NIH K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award)

Fellowships

2013                         Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Researchers [award declined]

2011                         Cell Networks Cluster of Excellence (University of Heidelberg) Post-Doctoral Fellowship [award declined]

2010                         Andrew Mellon Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship

2005                         Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition Graduate Student Fellowship (Pittsburgh, U.S.)

2003                         Brainstem Program (Univ. of St. Andrews) Undergraduate Fellowship (U.K.)

Honors and Awards

2016    Top Poster Award, The Brain Conferences: New Insights into Psychiatric Disorders through Computational, Biological, and Developmental Approaches (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2014                         Attendee, 64th Annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (Lindau, Germany)

2014                         FENS/IRBO Travel Award, FENS Forum 2014 (Milan, Italy)

2010                         Travel Award, Riken Brain Sciences Institute Summer Program (Tokyo, Japan)

2007                         Travel Award, Gordon Research Conference on Catecholamines (Oxford, U.K.)

2004                         Travel Award, States United for Biomedical Research (Orlando, U.S.)

2004                          Howard Swearer Humanitarian Award National Finalist (1 of 12 in U.S.)

Service to University & Research Institutions

2012                          Ombudsman (elected position), Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen

2010                          Provost’s Advisory Committee on Conflict of Interest, Univ. of Pittsburgh

2009                          Senate’s Advisory Committee on Plant Utilization and Planning, Univ. of Pittsburgh

Popular Press Coverage

2003                          Emory Magazine, Serious About Science

2001                          The Houston Chronicle, Focus: High Honor / Experimental Success, Science-loving Teen Starts New National Society

Publications

Book Chapters

(1) Totah NK. (2016). “Complexity and heterogeneity in psychiatry: opportunities for computational approaches.”  In: Computational Psychiatry: What Can Theoretical Neuroscience and Psychiatry Teach Each Other? Ed. A.D. Redish and J.A. Gordon.  Strungmann Forum Reports, vol. 20, J. Lupp, series editor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, in press.

(2)   Totah NK and Plotsky PM. (2005). “Refining the categorical landscape of the DSM: the role of animal models.” In Relational Processes and DSM-V: Neuroscience, Assessment, Prevention and Intervention. Beach SRH, et al.  (Eds.) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Articles (5 first author publications)

* Denotes shared first authorship / equal contributions

(1)   Totah NK, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2015). “Atomoxetine accelerates attentional set shifting without affecting learning rate in the rat.” Psychopharmacology. In press

(2)  * Marzo A, Totah NK, Neves RM, Logothestis NK, Eschenko O. (2014). “Unilateral electrical stimulation of the rat Locus Coeruleus elicits bilateral response of norepinephrine neurons and sustained activation of the mPFC”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (in press)

(3)  Totah NK, Kim YB, Moghaddam B. (2013). “Distinct prestimulus and poststimulus activation of VTA neurons correlates with stimulus detection”, Journal of Neurophysiology, 110(1):75.

(4)   Bondi CO, Taha AY, Tock JL, Totah NK, Cheon G, Torres G, Rapoport SI, Moghaddam B. (2013). “Adolescent behavior and dopamine availability are uniquely sensitive to dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency”, Biological Psychiatry.

(5)   Pehrson AL, Bondi CO, Totah NK, Moghaddam B. (2013). “The influence of NMDA and GABAA receptors and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) activity on attention”, Psychopharmacology. 225 (1): 31.

(6)   Totah NK, Jackson ME, Moghaddam, B. (2013). “Preparatory attention relies on dynamic interactions between prelimbic cortex and anterior cingulate cortex”, Cerebral Cortex. 23(3): 729.

(7)   Totah NK, Kim YB, Homayoun H, Moghaddam B. (2009). “Anterior cingulate neurons represent errors and preparatory attention within the same behavioral sequence”, Journal of Neuroscience. 20: 6418.

Conference Presentations

(1)  Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2016). “Monitoring large populations of locus coeruleus single units reveals the heterogeneous and non global nature of the norepinephrine neuromodulatory system.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, USA.

(2)  Totah NK, Watanabe M, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2016). “Deciphering the roles of attention and arousal in learning.” Abstract for poster presentation, The Brain Conferences: New Insights into Psychiatric Disorders through Computational, Biological, and Developmental Approaches, Copenhagen, Denmark.

(3)  Wantanabe M, Totah NK, Kaiser K, Löwe S, Logothetis NK. (2014). “Visual backwards masking in rats: a behavioral task for studying the neural mechanisms of visual awareness.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington DC, USA.

(4)  Totah NK and Moghaddam B. (2014). “Prefrontal cortex and dopamine single neuron spike rates and LFP phase represent time over distinct scales.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington DC, USA.

(5)  Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2014). “Effects of tonic and phasic norepinephrine release onlayer-specific activity in the prefrontal cortex in anesthetized and awake rat.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington DC, USA.

(6)  Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2014). “Effects of long-term administration of Atomoxetine on attentional set-shifting and activity in the rat Locus Coeruleus and Prefrontal Cortex.” Abstract for poster presentation, FENS, Milan, Italy.

(7)  Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2014). “Characterization of the effects of tonic and phasic norepinephrine release on layer-specific prefrontal cortex and primary somatosensory cortex activity.” Abstract for poster presentation, Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, Santorini, Greece.

(8)  Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK, Eschenko O. (2014). “Characterization of the effects of tonic and phasic norepinephrine release on layer-specific prefrontal cortex and primary somatosensory cortex activity.” Abstract for poster presentation, Controlling Neurons, Circuits, and Behaviour, Copenhagen, Denmark.

(9)  Totah NK, Moghaddam B. (2012). “Theta oscillations in the rat medial prefrontal cortex, but not the anterior cingulate or ventral tegmental area, are phase entrained to an attended but not unattended stimulus.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.

(10)        Totah NK, Moghaddam B. (2011). “Electrophysiological activity of dopamine and GABA neurons in the VTA of the behaving rat during top-down attention.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C.

(11)        Bondi CO, Tock JL, Totah NK, Taha AY, Rapoport SI, Moghaddam B. (2011). “Dietary deficiency in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids produces behavioral changes in rat pups and adolescents.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C.

(12)        Totah NK, Jackson M, Moghaddam B. (2010). “Local field potential and single unit activity in the rat medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task.” Abstract for poster presentation, Schizophrenia International Research Society Congress, Florence, Italy.

(13)        Totah NK, Moghaddam B. (2009). “The effects of methylphenidate on single unit activity and local field potential oscillations in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex during preparatory attention.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.

(14)        Pehrson AL, Totah NK, Moghaddam B. (2009). “Inhibition of NMDA or GABA-A receptors but not reduction of GAD activity in the prefrontal cortex impairs preparatory attention.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.

(15)        Totah NK, Homayoun H, Kim YB, Moghaddam B. (2008). “Sub-region specific neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C.

(16)        Totah NK, Homayoun H, Moghaddam B. (2007). “Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task.” Abstract for poster presentation, Gordon Research Conference on Catecholamines, Oxford, England, U.K.

(17)        Totah NK, Homayoun H, Moghaddam B. (2007). “Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA

(18)        Totah NK, Homayoun H, Moghaddam B. (2006). “Characterization of a "three-choice" serial reaction time task as a model for studying the neuronal basis of visual attention and executive functions in the rat.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA

(19)        Totah NK, Hayslett R, Morris LG, Lurtz MM, Frantz KJ. (2005). “Capturing student interest: high school apprenticeships in neuroscience.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C.

(20)        Totah NK, Nair HP, Young LJ, Luiken J, Plotsky PM. (2004). “Retroviral transfer of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) into adult and neonatal rat brain: functional and neurobiological evidence of action.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA

(21) Totah NK, Morris LG, Lurtz MM, Waikel RL, Gray D, Frantz, KJ. (2004). “Becoming a scientist: high school apprenticeships in neuroscience.” Abstract for poster presentation, Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA

 

Invited Talks and Guest Lectures

2011                         Wiring the Brain: Making Connections, Powerscourt, Ireland

2004                         States United for Biomedical Research Satellite Meeting at the American Association of Lab Animal Science Meeting

Peer Review for Journals

Cerebral Cortex

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

Journal of Neurophysiology

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Articles (9):

Watanabe M, Nagaoka S, Kirchberger L, Poyraz E, Löwe S, Uysal B, Vaiceliunaite A, Totah N, Logothetis NK, Busse L and Katzner S (July-2017) Mouse primary visual cortex is not part of the reverberant neural circuitry critical for visual perception - . submitted
Totah NK, Neves RM, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (February-2017) The locus coeruleus is a complex and differentiated neuromodulatory system - . submitted
Totah NK, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (October-2015) Atomoxetine accelerates attentional set shifting without affecting learning rate in the rat Psychopharmacology 232(20) 3697-3707.
Marzo A, Totah NK, Neves RM, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (June-2014) Unilateral electrical stimulation of rat locus coeruleus elicits bilateral response of norepinephrine neurons and sustained activation of medial prefrontal cortex Journal of Neurophysiology 111(12) 2570-2588.
Bondi CO, Taha AY, Tock JL, Totah NKB, Cheon Y, Torres GE, Rapoport SI and Moghaddam B (January-2014) Adolescent behavior and dopamine availability are uniquely sensitive to dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency Biological Psychiatry 75(1) 38–46.
Totah NKB, Kim Y and Moghaddam B (July-2013) Distinct prestimulus and poststimulus activation of VTA neurons correlates with stimulus detection Journal of Neurophysiology 110(1) 75-85.
Totah NKB, Jackson ME and Moghaddam B (March-2013) Preparatory Attention Relies on Dynamic Interactions between Prelimbic Cortex and Anterior Cingulate Cortex Cerebral Cortex 23(3) 729-738.
Pehrson AL, Bondi CO, Totah NKB and Moghaddam B (January-2013) The influence of NMDA and GABAA receptors and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) activity on attention Psychopharmacology 225(1) 31-39.
Totah NKB, Kim YB, Homayoun H and Moghaddam B (May-2009) Anterior Cingulate Neurons Represent Errors and Preparatory Attention within the Same Behavioral Sequence Journal of Neuroscience 29(20) 6418-6426.

Contributions to books (2):

Totah N, Akil H, Huys QJM, Krystal JH, MacDonald III AW, Maia TV, Malenka RC and Pauli WM: Complexity and Heterogeneity in Psychiatric Disorders: Opportunities for Computational Psychiatry, 33-59. In: Computational Psychiatry: New Perspectives on Mental Illness, (Ed) A.D. Redish, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, (2016).
Totah NKB and Plotsky PM: Refining the Categorical Landscape of the DSM: Role of Animal Models, 39-60. In: Relational Processes and DSM-V: Neuroscience, Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment, (Ed) S Beach, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, DC, USA, (June-2006).

Posters (21):

Totah NK, Neves RM, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (November-13-2016): Monitoring large populations of locus coeruleus single units reveals the heterogeneous and non global nature of the norepinephrine neuromodulatory system, 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2016), San Diego, CA, USA.
Watanabe M, Totah N, Kaiser K, Löwe S and Logothetis NK (November-17-2014): Visual backward masking in rats: A behavioral task for studying the neural mechanisms of visual awareness, 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2014), Washington, DC, USA.
Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (November-16-2014): Effects of tonic and phasic norepinephrine release on layer-specific activity in the prefrontal cortex in anesthetized and awake rat, 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2014), Washington, DC, USA.
Moghaddam B and Totah NKB (November-16-2014): Prefrontal cortex and dopamine single neuron spike rates and LFP phase represent time over distinct scales, 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2014), Washington, DC, USA.
Totah N, Neves RM, Katakalidis G, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (July-8-2014): Effects of Long-Term Administration of Atomoxetine on Attentional Set-Shifting and Activity in the Rat Locus Coeruleus and Prefrontal Cortex, 9th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, Milano, Italy.
Totah N, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (June-2014): Characterization of the Effects of Tonic and Phasic Norepidrine Release on Layer-Specific Prefrontal Cortex and Primary Somatosensory Cortex Activity, AREADNE 2014: Research in Encoding and Decoding of Neural Ensembles, Santorini, Greece.
Totah NK, Neves R, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK and Eschenko O (April-2014): Characterization of the effects of tonic and phasic norepinephrine release on layer-specific prefrontal cortex and primary somatosensory cortex activity, FENS Spring Brain Conference: Controlling Neurons, Circuits and Behavior, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Totah NK and Moghaddam B (October-17-2012): Theta oscillations in the rat medial prefrontal cortex, but not the anterior cingulate or ventral tegmental area, are phase entrained to an attended but not unattended stimulus, 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2012), New Orleans, LA, USA.
Bondi CO, Tock JL, Totah NKB, Taha AY, Rapoport SI and Moghaddam B (November-16-2011): Dietary deficiency in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids produces behavioral changes in rat pups and adolescents, 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2011), Washington, DC, USA.
Totah NK and Moghaddam B (November-13-2011): Electrophysiolgical activity of dopamine and GABA neurons in the VTA of the behaving rat during top-down attention, 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2011), Washington, DC, USA.
Totah NK, Jackson M and Moghaddam B (April-2010): Local field potential and single unit activity in the rat medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task, 2nd Biennial Schizophrenia International Research Conference, Firenze, Italy, Schizophrenia Research, 117(2-3) 481.
Pehrson AL, Totah NKB and Moghaddam B (October-20-2009): Inhibition of NMDA or GABA-A receptors but not reduction of GAD activity in the prefrontal cortex impairs preparatory attention, 39th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2009), Chicago, IL, USA.
Totah NKB and Moghaddam B (October-20-2009): The effects of methylphenidate on single unit activity and local field potential oscillations in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex during preparatory attention, 39th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2009), Chicago, IL, USA.
Totah NK, Homayoun H, Kim YB and Moghaddam B (November-18-2008): Sub-region specific neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task, 38th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2008), Washington, DC, USA.
Totah NK, Homayoun H and Moghaddam B (May-30-2008): Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task, Fourth International Workshop Statistical Analysis of Neuronal Data (SAND4), Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Totah NK, Homayoun H and Moghaddam B (November-6-2007): Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task, 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2007), San Diego, CA, USA.
Totah NK, Homayoun H and Moghaddam B (August-2007): Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task, Gordon Research Conference: Catecholamines, Oxford, UK.
Totah NK, Homayoun H and Moghaddam B (October-15-2006): Characterization of a "three-choice" serial reaction time task as a model for studying the neuronal basis of visual attention and executive functions in the rat, 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2006), Atlanta, GA, USA.
Totah NKB, Hayslett R, Morris LG, Lurtz MM and Frantz KJ (November-13-2005): Capturing student interest: high school apprenticeships in neuroscience, 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2005), Washington, DC, USA.
Totah NK, Nair HP, Young LJ, Luiken J and Plotsky P (October-26-2004): Retroviral gene transfer of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) into adult and neonatal rat brain: Functional and neurobiological evidence of action, 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2004), San Diego, CA, USA.
Totah NKB, Morris LG, Lurtz MM, Waikel RL, Gray D and Frantz KJ (October-23-2004): Becoming a scientist: High school apprenticeships in neuroscience, 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2004), San Diego, CA, USA.

Theses (1):

Totah NKB: Prefrontal control of attention and modulation by the ventral tegmental area, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, (2012). PhD thesis

Talks (1):

Totah NK (April-2011) Invited Lecture: Dynamic interactions between anterior cingulate cortex and medial PFC during top-down attention, Wiring the Brain: Making Connections (WTB 2011), Enniskerry, Ireland.

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Last updated: Monday, 22.05.2017