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"Chuck" Alan D. Dorval

USTAR Assistant Professor of Bioengineering

Brain and Behavior
Cellular Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease
more on Dorval/CV


Ph.D. 2004, Boston University; Postdoctoral Fellow 2004-2008, Duke University


Neuropathophysioloy, Translational Neuroscience, Neuromodulation, Neuronal Semiotics

We use electrophysiological recordings, computational neuroscience and neuronal information theory to decipher the symbols that brain cells use to interpret the world, retain and retrieve memories, process information, and command coordinated muscle activity. Through those techniques and clinical research, we learn how diseases and disorders of the nervous system impair the generation, storage, transmission and interpretation of those physiologically meaningful symbols. Coupling that knowledge with computational modeling and electrical engineering we aim to improve existing neuromodulatory therapies, and devise novel neural engineering interventions to enhance the quality of life.

Specific lines of research include:
1.Quantifying how patterns of neuronal activity in the basal ganglia relate to whole-organism functions (e.g. procedural learning and motor control), and how the development of pathological neuronal activity in persons with Parkinson's disease induces motor symptoms.
2.Detailing how deep brain stimulation modifies pathological activity in the stimulated tissue, learning why those modifications alleviate motor symptoms, and designing novel neuromodulatory therapies to treat movement disorders.
3.Understanding how the inputs that a neuron receives combine to alter the immediate response and long-term behavior of that neuron, and applying that knowledge to promote neuronal regeneration and repair connectivity in damaged neurological tissue.

Selected Publications:

Dorval, A.D., Kuncel, A.M., Birdno, M.J., Turner, D.A., and Grill, W.M. (2010) Deep brain stimulation alleviates parkinsonian bradykinesia by regularizing pallidal activity. J Neurophysiol, May 26, epub ahead of print.

Dorval, A.D., Panjwani, N., Qi, R.Y., and Grill, W.M. (2009) Deep brain stimulation that abolishes Parkinsonian activity in basal ganglia improves thalamic relay fidelity in a computational circuit. P IEEE EMBS, Oct; 4230-4233.

Dorval, A.D., Russo, G.S., Hashimoto, T., Xu, W., Grill, W.M., and Vitek, J.L. (2008) Deep brain stimulation reduces neuronal entropy in the MPTP-primate model of Parkinson's disease. J Neurophysiol Nov;100(5):2807-2818.

Dorval, A.D. (2008) Probability distributions of the logarithm of inter-spike intervals yield accurate entropy estimates from small datasets.J Neurosci Methods, Aug 15;173(1):129-139.

Birdno, M.J., Kuncel, A.M., Dorval, A.D., Turner, D.A., and Grill, W.M. (2008) Tremor varies as a function of the temporal regularity of deep brain stimulation. Neuroreport, Mar 26;19(5):599-602.

Haas, J.S., Dorval, A.D. 2nd, and White, J.A. (2007) Contributions of Ih to feature selectivity in layer II stellate cells of the entorhinal cortex. J Comput Neurosci, Apr;22(2):161-171.

Dorval, A.D. (2006) The rhythmic consequences of ion channel stochasticity.Neuroscientist, Oct;12(5):442-448.

Dorval, A.D., and White, J.A. (2006) Synaptic input statistics tune the variability and reproducibility of neuronal responses.Chaos, Jun;16(2):026105.

Dorval, A.D. Jr, and White, J.A. (2005) Channel noise is essential for perithreshold oscillations in entorhinal stellate neurons.J Neurosci, Oct 26;25(43):10025-10028.

Netoff, T.I., Banks, M.I., Dorval, A.D., Acker, C.D., Haas, J.S., Kopell, N., and White, J.A. (2005) Synchronization in hybrid neuronal networks of the hippocampal formation. J Neurophysiol, Mar;93(3):1197-1208.

Dorval, A.D., Christini, D.J., and White, J.A. (2001) Real-Time linux dynamic clamp: a fast and flexible way to construct virtual ion channels in living cells. Ann Biomed Eng, Oct;29(10):897-907.

Last Updated: 4/18/17