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16 December 1934|
|Residence||New York City, New York, United States|
|Institutions||NYU School of Medicine|
|Alma mater||Universidad Javeriana and Australian National University|
|Known for||Physiology of the cerebellum, the thalamus, Thalamocortical dysrhythmia as well as for his pioneering work on the inferior olive, on the squid giant synapse and on human magnetoencephalography (MEG)|
|Mind and brain portal|
Rodolfo R. Llinás (born 16 December 1934) is a Colombian neuroscientist, and currently the Thomas and Suzanne Murphy Professor of Neuroscience and Chairman of the department of Physiology & Neuroscience at the NYU School of Medicine. He attended the Gimnasio Moderno school and received his MD from the Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá in 1959 and his PhD in 1965 from the Australian National University working under Sir John Eccles. Llinás has published over 500 scientific articles.
He has studied the electrophysiology of single neurons in the cerebellum, the thalamus, the cerebral cortex, the entorhinal cortex, the hippocampus, the vestibular system, the inferior olive and the spinal cord. He has studied synaptic transmitter release in the squid giant synapse. He has studied human brain function using magnetoencephalography (MEG) on the basis of which he introduced the concept of Thalamocortical dysrhythmia.
Llinás has written that the brain evolved because organisms needed to move around in a coordinated manner.
Further contributions include:
- Discovery of dendritic inhibition in central neurons (at the mammalian motoneuron).
- The functional organization of the cerebellar cortex neuronal circuits.
- Defining cerebellar function from an evolutionary perspective.
- First description of electrical coupling in the mammalian CNS (mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus).
- First determination of presynaptic calcium current, under voltage clamp, at the squid giant synapse.
- Discovery that vertebrate neurons (cerebellar Purkinje cell) can generate calcium-dependent spikes .
- Discovery of the P-type calcium channel in the Purkinje cells.
- Discovery of low threshold spikes generated by low voltage activated calcium conductaces (presently known as due to T-type calcium channel) in inferior olive and thalamus neurons.
- Asserting the law of no interchangeability of neurons, which it is known as Llinás' law.
- Direct demonstration of calcium concentration microdomains at the presynaptic active zone.
- Utilization of magnetoencephalography in clinical research.
- Discovery of subthreshold membrane potential oscillations in the inferior olive, thalamus and entorhinal cortex.
- The discovery of Thalamocortical dysrhythmia.
- Artificial olivo-cerebellar motor control system as part of the project BAUV (Undersea Vehicle) of the US Navy developed by P. Bandyopadhyay.
Memberships and Honors
Llinás is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences (1986), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1996), American Philosophical Society (1996), the Real Academia Nacional de Medicina (Spain) (1996) and the French Academy of Science (2002). Dr. Llinás has received honorary degrees from the following universities:
- Universidad de Salamanca (Spain) (1985)
- Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) (1993)
- National University of Colombia (1994)
- Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain (1997)
- Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, (1998)
- Toyama University, Toyama, Japan (2005)
- University of Pavia, Italy (2006)
- Gold Medal of CSIC, Spain (2012)
He was also the chairman of NASA/Neurolab Science Working Group.
- Hubbard, J.I., Llinás, R. and Quastel, D.M.J. Electrophysiological Analysis of Synaptic Transmission. London: Edward Arnold Publishers 1969.
- Llinás, R. Editor. Neurobiology of Cerebellar Evolution and Development. (Chicago: Am. Med. Association, 1969)
- Llinás, R. I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 2001). ISBN 0-262-62163-0
- Llinás, Rodolfo R. The Squid Giant Synapse : A Model for Chemical Transmission Oxford University Press, USA (December 15, 1999) ISBN 0-19-511652-6
- Llinás, Rodolfo R. and Churchland, Patricia S. Mind-Brain Continuum: Sensory Processes The MIT Press (September 9, 1996) ISBN 0-262-12198-0
- Llinás, Rodolfo R., and Steriade, Mircea. Bursting of thalamic neurons and states of vigilance. Invited Review J. Neurophysiol, 95:3297-3308, 2006. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00166.2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rodolfo Llinás.|
- Enter the "I" of the Vortex The Science Network interview with Rodolfo Llinás
- In a Host of Ailments, Seeing a Brain Out of Rhythm The New York Times December 8, 2008
- New Way Of Looking At Diseases Of the Brain The New York Times October 26, 1999
- Listening to the Conversation of Neurons The New York Times May 27, 1997
- New York Times announcement of election to the [National Academy of Sciences]