Dr. Majid Mohajerani

Phone: (403) 394-3950
e-mail: mohajerani@uleth.ca
Office: EP 1202
Lab: EP 1209

Research Interests

The primary aim of my research is to neural activity on the subcellular, cellular, and circuit level in cortex upon sensory stimulation (tactile, visual, or auditory) and during motor behaviour, to uncover the neural correlates of sensory perception, associative learning and perceptual decisions. We are interested to study neuron’s responses to arbitrary, complex sensory stimuli. However, the activity in the sensory system depends not only on sensory stimuli, but also on what the rest of the brain is doing. My main effort, therefore, focuses on examining how the sensory system integrates sensory inputs from peripheries and lateral inputs from the brain. My lab employs in vivo optical methods (such as two-photon microscopy, voltage sensitive dye imaging and optogenetic tools), in combination with electrophysiological recording to study neural activity at the subcellular, cellular, and circuit level in real-time. We also have interest in structure-function relationships in the brain. To this end, we are developing new mapping procedures using newly developed optogenetics techniques combined with structural and functional imaging.


  • B.Sc. & M.Sc., Electronic and Biomedical Engineering, AmirKabir University of Technology.
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, 2007, International School of Advanced Studies.
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, 2013, University of British Columbia.

Available Positions

I am currently looking for:

  1. Post-doctoral fellow with experience in in vivo two-photon imaging and animal surgery. Excellent communication skills are a must. Experience in MATLAB will be an asset.
  2. Master and Ph.D. graduate students interested in learning in vivo optical imaging and electrophysiological recording.
  3. There are many potential projects in the lab for undergraduates interested in independent studies, summer positions and honours projects. Interested students should send a brief description of their research interest, transcript, and a CV.

Recent Publications

  1. Bermudez-Contreras E, Chekhov S, Tarnowsky J, Sun J, McNaughton BL., Mohajerani MH. (2017)  A High Performance, Inexpensive Setup for Simultaneous Multi-site Recording of Electrophysiological Signals and Wide-Field Imaging in the Mouse Cortex. Paper
  2. Mehla M, Faraji J., Mohajerani MH, McDonald RJ. (2017) Development of a Novel Protocol for Mouse Spatial Performance: An Integrative Approach to Old and New Memory in the Morris Water Task. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/177105Paper
  3. Greenberg A., Karimi J., Dickson CT., Mohajerani MH. (2017) New waves: Rhythmic electrical field stimulation systematically alters spontaneous slow dynamics across mouse neocortex. Paper
  4. Mehla M, Lacoursiere S, Stuart E, McDonald RJ, Mohajerani MH. (2017) Gradual Cerebral Hypoperfusion Induced Subcortical Infarcts Impair Fear Conditioning and Object Recognition Memories in Mice. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
  5. McVea D, Murphy TH, Mohajerani MH. (2017) Spontaneous activity synchronizes whisker-related sensorimotor networks prior to their maturation in the developing rat cortex. 
  6. Whishaw IQ, Faraji J, Kuntz J, Mirza Agha B, Metz GAS, Mohajerani MH. (2017) The syntactic organization of pasta-eating and the structure of reach movements in the head-fixed mouse. Nature Sci Rep. Paper
  7. Jafari Z, Mehla J, Kolb BE, Mohajerani MH. (2017). Prenatal noise stress impairs HPA axis and cognitive performance in mice. Nature Sci Rep. Paper
  8. Faraji J, Soltanpour N, Lotfi H, Moeeini R, Moharreri AR, Roudaki S, Hosseini SA, Olson DM, Abdollahi AA, Soltanpour N, Mohajerani MH, Metz GAS. (2017). Lack of Social Support Raises Stress Vulnerability in Rats with a History of Ancestral Stress. Nature Sci Rep. 7(1):5277. PMID: 28706188. Paper
  9. Jafari Z, Mehla J, Afrashteh N, Kolb BE, Mohajerani MH. (2017). Corticosterone response to gestational stress and postpartum memory function in mice. PLoS One. 12(7):e0180306. PMID: 28692696. Paper
  10. Jafari Z, Faraji J, Mirza Agha B, Metz GAS, Kolb BE, Mohajerani MH. (2017). The Adverse Effects of Auditory Stress on Mouse Uterus Receptivity and Behaviour. Nature Sci Rep. 7(1):4720. PMID: 28680154. Paper
  11. Whishaw IQ, Faraji J, Kuntz J, Mirza Agha B, Patel M, Metz GAS, Mohajerani MH (2017). Organization of the reach and grasp in head-fixed vs freely-moving mice provides support for multiple motor channel theory of neocortical organization. Exp Brain Res. 235(6):1919-1932. PMID: 28315945. Paper
  12. Afrashteh N, Inayat S, Mohsenvand M, Mohajerani MH. (2017). Optical-flow analysis toolbox for characterization of spatiotemporal dynamics in mesoscale optical imaging of brain activity. 153:58-74. PMID: 28351691. Paper. Code.
  13. Kyweriga M, Sun J, Wang S, Kline R, Mohajerani MH (2017). A Large Lateral Craniotomy Procedure for Mesoscale Wide-field Optical Imaging of Brain Activity. J Vis Exp. 7;(123). PMID: 28518107. Paper
  14. Jafari Z, Esmaili M, Delbari A, Mehrpour M, Mohajerani MH (2017). Post-stroke acquired amusia: A comparison between right- and left-brain hemispheric damages. 40(2):233-241. PMID: 28211817. Paper
  15. Jafari Z, Kolb B, Mohajerani MH (2016). Effect of Acute Stress on the Auditory Processing: A Systematic Review of Human Studies. Reviews in Neuroscience. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2016-0043. PMID: 27718496. Paper
  16. McVea DA, Murphy TH, Mohajerani MH. (2016). Large Scale Cortical Functional Networks Associated with Slow-Wave and Spindle-Burst-Related Spontaneous Activity. Front Neural Circuits. 21;10:103. PMID: 28066190. Paper
  17. Jafari Z, Esmaili M, Delbari A, Mehrpour M, Mohajerani MH (2016). Auditory Temporal Processing Deficits in Chronic Stroke: A Comparison of Brain Damage Lateralization Effect. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 25(6):1403-10. PMID: 27021038. Paper
  18. Michael Kyweriga, Mohajerani MH (2016). Optogenetic approaches for mesoscopic brain mapping. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1408:251-65. PMID: 26965128.
  19. Chan, AW *, Mohajerani MH *, LeDue J, Wang YT, Murphy TH (2015). Mesoscale infraslow spontaneous membrane potential fluctuations recapitulate high-frequency activity cortical motifs. Nature Communication. 20;6:7738 PMID: 26190168 (*equal co-first author). Paper
  20. Lim DH, LeDue JM, Mohajerani MH, Murphy TH (2014). Optogenetic mapping after stroke reveals network-wide scaling of functional connections and heterogeneous recovery of the peri-infarct. Journal of Neuroscience 34(49):16455-66 PMID:25471583. Paper
  21. Mohajerani MH *, Chan, AW *, Mohsenvand M, LeDue J, Liu R, McVea D, Boyd J, Reimer M, Wang YT, Murphy TH (2013). Spontaneous intracortical activity alternates between sensory motifs defined by region-specific axonal projections. Nature Neuroscience 16;1426–1435 PMID: 23974708 (*equal co-first author) (Selected for Journal Cover). Paper
  22. Lim DH, LeDue J, Mohajerani MH, Vanni MP, Murphy TH (2013). Optogenetic approaches for functional mouse brain mapping. Frontiers in Neuroscience 10;7:54 PMID: 23596383. Paper
  23. Chen S, Mohajerani MH, Murphy TH (2012). Optogenetic analysis of neuronal excitability during global ischemia reveals selective deficits in sensory processing following reperfusion in mouse cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 32(39):13510-13519 PMID: 23015440. Paper
  24. McVea D, Mohajerani MH, Murphy TH (2012). Studying the structure and function of cortical activity in developing rodents using VSD imaging in vivo. Journal of Neuroscience 8;32(32):10982-94. PMID: 22875932. Paper
  25. Lim DH *, Mohajerani MH *, Boyd J, LeDue J, Chen S, Murphy TH (2012). Exogenous activation of output neurons using channelrhodopsin-2 reveals sensory maps and intracortical relationships. Front Neural Circuits 6:11. PMID: 22435052. (*equal co-first author) (Selected as Tier2 publication and become a Focused Review to be published in Frontiers in Neuroscience). Paper
  26. Mohajerani MH, Aminoltejari K, Murphy TH (2011). Targeted mini-strokes produce changes in inter-hemispheric sensory signal processing that are indicative of dis-inhibition within minutes. PNAS 108(22): E183-E192. PMID: 21576480. ( Highlighted by Nature 2011; 473:423). Paper
  27. Mohajerani MH, McVea D, Fingas M, Murphy TH (2010). Mirrored bilateral processing of slow wave cortical activity within local circuits revealed by fast bi-hemispheric voltage-sensitive dye imaging in anesthetized and awake mice. Journal of Neuroscience 30(10):3745-51. PMID: 20220008. (Recommended in Faculty of 1000 Biology). Paper
  28. Sigler A, Mohajerani MH, Murphy TH (2009). Voltage sensitive dye imaging reveals re-distribution of sensory-evoked activity through existing pathways within an hour of stroke in mice. PNAS 106(28):11759-64. PMID: 19571005. Paper
  29. Sivakumaran S, Mohajerani MH, Cherubini E (2009). At immature mossy-fiber-CA3 synapses, correlated presynaptic and postsynaptic activity persistently enhances GABA release and network excitability via BDNF and cAMP-dependent PKA. Journal of Neuroscience 25;29(8):2637-47. PMID: 19063969. (Selected for Journal of Neuroscience Journal Club). Paper
  30. Mohajerani MH, Sivakumaran S, Zacchi P, Aguilera P, Cherubini E (2007). Correlated network activity enhances synaptic efficacy via BDNF and the ERK pathway at immature CA3 CA1 connections in the hippocampus. PNAS 104: 32:13176-6. PMID: 17656555. Paper
  31. Mohajerani MH, Cherubini E (2006). Role of giant depolarizing potentials in shaping synaptic currents in the developing hippocampus, Critical Review in Neurobiology. 18:1-2:13-23. PMID: 17725505.
  32. Mohajerani MH, Cherubini E (2005). Spontaneous recurrent network activity in organotypic rat hippocampal slices, European Journal of Neuroscience 22:1:107-12. PMID: 16029200. Paper
  33. Raffaelli G, Saviane C, Mohajerani MH, Pedarzani P, Cherubini E (2004). BK potassium channels control transmitter release at CA3-CA3 synapses in the rat hippocampus., Journal of Physiology-London 557:1:147-57. PMID: 15034127. Paper
  34. Saviane C, Mohajerani MH, Cherubini E (2003). An ID-like current that is downregulated by Ca2+ modulates information coding at CA3-CA3 synapses in the rat hippocampus. Journal of Physiology-London 552:2:513-12. PMID: 14561833. Paper