Professor of Psychology

380A Gilmer Hall (office)

364/374 Gilmer Hall (lab)

Office Hours:
Wed: 11:00-12:30
Email for an appointment on other days

Interested in research in our lab?  apply here

Recent CV.

Neuronal connectivity in sensory pathways

Plasticity, development and aging

Synaptic proteins

Ultrastructural neuroanatomy

I study fine structure of neurons and other brain cells along sensory pathways in developing and aging brains. I am particularly interested in how synaptic circuities are formed, maintained, and how they are modified by experience. Using quantitative electron microscopy, tract-tracing immuno-identification and 3D reconstruction approaches in behaviorally and physiologically characterized animal models, my work aims to identify the molecular players in axon reorganization, synaptic pruning and sensory plasticity.  In addition, we study the development of neuropathological alterations in animal models of aging and Alzheimer’s dementia.


Selected Publications:

Full list of my published work:

Campbell C, Lindhartsen S, Knyaz A, Erisir A, Nahmani M. Cortical Presynaptic Boutons Progressively Engulf Spinules As They Mature. eNeuro. 2020 Sep 18:ENEURO.0426-19.2020. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0426-19.2020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32958478.

Sanchez V, Bakhti-Suroosh A, Chen A, Brunzell DH, Erisir A, Lynch WJ. 2019. Exercise during abstinence normalizes ultrastructural synaptic plasticity associated with nicotine-seeking following extended access self-administration. Eur J Neurosci. 2019 Aug;50(4):2707-2721. doi: 10.1111/ejn.14408. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Wang L, Kloc M, Maher E, Erisir A, Maffei A. 2019 Presynaptic GABAA Receptors Modulate Thalamocortical Inputs in Layer 4 of Rat V1. Cereb Cortex. 2019 Mar 1;29(3):921-936. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx364.

Schecter RW, Maher EE, Welsh CA, Stevens B, Erisir A, Bear MF, 2017 Experience-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in V1 Occurs without Microglial CX3CR1. J Neurosci. 2017 Nov 1;37(44):10541-10553.

Irwin JA, Erisir A, Kwon I. Oral Triphenylmethane Food Dye Analog, Brilliant Blue G, Prevents Neuronal Loss in APPSwDI/NOS2-/- Mouse Model. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2016;13(6):663-77.

Holtz SL, Fu A, Loflin W, Corson JA, Erisir A. Morphology and connectivity of parabrachial and cortical inputs to gustatory thalamus in rats. J Comp Neurol. 2015 Jan 1;523(1):139-61.

Corson JA, Erisir A. Monosynaptic convergence of chorda tympani and glossopharyngeal afferents onto ascending relay neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract: a high-resolution confocal and correlative electron microscopy approach. J Comp Neurol. 2013 Sep 1;521(13):2907-26.

Owe SG, Erisir A, Heggelund P. Terminals of the major thalamic input to visual cortex are devoid of synapsin proteins. Neuroscience. 2013 Jul 23;243:115-25.

Wang S, Corson J, Hill D, Erisir A. 2012. Postnatal development of chorda tympani axons in the rat nucleus of the solitary tract. J Comp Neurol. 2012 Mar 20. 

Corson J, Aldridge A, Wilmoth K, Erisir A. 2012. A survey of oral cavity afferents to the rat nucleus tractus solitarii. 2012. J Comp Neurol. 2012 Feb 15;520(3):495-527.

Corson J, Nahmani M, Lubarsky K, Badr N, Wright C, Erisir A. Sensory activity differentially modulates N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits 2A and 2B in cortical layers. Neuroscience. 2009 Oct 20;163(3):920-32.

Kielland A, Erisir A, Walaas SI, Heggelund P. 2006. Synapsin utilization differs among functional classes of synapses on thalamocortical cells. Journal of Neuroscience. May 24;26(21):5786-93. 

Angeline S. Lillard, Alev Erisir. Old dogs learning new tricks: Neuroplasticity beyond the juvenile period, Developmental Review, Volume 31, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages 207-239.

Coleman JE, Nahmani M, Gavornik JP, Haslinger R, Heynen AJ, Erisir A, Bear MF. Rapid structural remodeling of thalamocortical synapses parallels experience-dependent functional plasticity in mouse primary visual cortex.  J Neurosci. 2010 Jul 21;30(29):9670-82. 

May OL, Erisir A, Hill DL.  Ultrastructure of primary afferent terminals and synapses in the rat nucleus of the solitary tract: comparison among the greater superficial petrosal, chorda tympani, and glossopharyngeal nerves. J Comp Neurol. 2007 Jun 20;502(6):1066-78.