Barbara E. Jones, PhD
Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Neuro, McGill University
Barbara E. Jones, received her PhD from the University of Delaware in Physiological Psychology, having performed her thesis research with Michel Michel at the Faculty of Medicine in Lyon, France. Since 1977, she has been a Professor in Neurology & Neurosurgery, McGill University at the Montreal Neurological Institute. She has sought to understand how the brain generates states of waking and sleep. Her research focusses upon the neuroanatomical organization, chemical neurotransmission and physiology of the specific neural circuits in the brainstem, hypothalamus and basal forebrain, which stimulate and maintain a waking state, as well as those which reciprocally inhibit waking and promote sleep. To study these neural systems, her laboratory employs in vivo neurophysiological recording in naturally waking/sleeping rodents, combined with neuroanatomical and histochemical techniques. One major facet of Jones’ research program has been investigating the way in which cholinergic neurons in the brain stem and basal forebrain stimulate cortical activation with theta and gamma electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during waking and paradoxical (or REM) sleep. Her lab has studied cholinergic along with other neuromodulatory systems, including noradrenergic, orexinergic and MCH neurons, and how they can modulate the functionally diverse glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which work in balance as the effector neurons for cortical activity and behavioral states. Most recently, her lab has examined how these systems are regulated in a homeostatic manner to regulate sleep and waking.