Faculty Profile

Bernat Kocsis, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

See publications

Inter-office Mail Address


Phone 617-735-3301
Fax 661-554-5966

Email bernat_kocsis@hms.harvard.edu

Society Memberships

Sleep Research Society
Society for Neuroscience
American Physiological Society
European Neuroscience Association

Research Unit(s)

Laboratory of Neurophysiology

Research Interests

1. Subcortical regulation of forebrain activity in the sleep-wake cycle. The central focus of my research is the subcortical regulation of hippocampal function and is guided by the general hypothesis that the role of this regulation is to build dynamic associations between several limbic structures that are synchronized by oscillatory population activity. Phasic and rhythmic synchronization of neuronal activity is critical to control the concerted action of spatially separated structures in the brain. The general state and background activity of various brain structures determine how these structures will respond to different specific inputs and how they establish dynamical connections to perform complex functions. An important constituent of these states is the pattern of population activity including coherent oscillations in anatomically scattered structures which can establish functional networks during specific behaviors. Theta synchrony provides an excellent model to study these cooperations and the way in which they differ in specific behavioral states, such as waking exploration and REM sleep.

 2. Oscillatory processes in cardiovascular control. Another model we use to study rhythmic synchronization among neural networks is the autonomic nervous system which is capable of generating different patterns of activity that control the response of the cardiovascular system to changes in the environment (e.g. chemoregulation, thermoregulation, etc.) and different behavioral states (e.g. defense reaction, eating, sleep, etc.). Our guiding hypothesis in this research is that sympathetic rhythm is generated by multiple oscillators and we study the changes in the relationship between these oscillators under different conditions of health and disease.


Students/Thesis advisor:
Viktor Varga, PhD, 1999-2004,
Lionel Dahan 2004, PhD,
Dannia Wang, MPharm, 2006,
Elin Shorman, MPharm, 2007,
Tope Lanre-Amos, 2007-present
Kara Kittelberger, 2007-present
Lisa Nguy, 2008-present
Shawn Cogan, 2008-present
Postdoctoral fellows:
Shamoni Li MD PhD 2003-2005
Irina Topchiy PhD 2005-2007
Ryan Mears, PhD 2008-present

Research Funding

NIH/NIMH, PI: Cooperation among subcortical networks underlying memory


Human Nervous System and Behavior (IN707.0)

Selected Publications

Hajós M, Hoffmann WE, Kocsis B. Activation of cannabinoid-1 receptors disrupts sensory gating and neuronal
oscillation: relevance to schizophrenia.
Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jun 1;63(11):1075-83. [PMID: 18261715]

Hajós M, Siok CJ, Hoffmann WE, Li S, Kocsis B. Modulation of hippocampal theta oscillation by histamine H3 receptors.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2008 Jan;324(1):391-8. [PMID: 17940197]

McNaughton N, Kocsis B, Hajós M. Elicited hippocampal theta rhythm: a screen for anxiolytic and procognitive drugs through changes in hippocampal function?
Behav Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;18(5-6):329-46. Review. [PMID: 17762505]

Kocsis B, Li S, Hajos M. Behavior-dependent modulation of hippocampal EEG activity by the selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor reboxetine in rats.
Hippocampus. 2007;17(8):627-33. [PMID: 17492692]

Li S, Topchiy I, Kocsis B. The effect of atropine administered in the medial septum or hippocampus on high-
and low-frequency theta rhythms in the hippocampus of urethane anesthetized rats.
Synapse. 2007 Jun;61(6):412-9. [PMID: 17372965]

Hajós M, Allers KA, Jennings K, Sharp T, Charette G, Sík A, Kocsis B. Neurochemical identification of stereotypic burst-firing neurons in the rat dorsal raphe nucleus using juxtacellular labelling methods.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Jan;25(1):119-26. [PMID: 17241273]

Dahan L, Astier B, Vautrelle N, Urbain N, Kocsis B, Chouvet G. Prominent burst firing of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area during paradoxical sleep.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007 Jun;32(6):1232-41. [PMID: 17151599]

Kocsis B. The effect of descending theta rhythmic input from the septohippocampal system on firing in the supramammillary nucleus.
Brain Res. 2006 May 1;1086(1):92-7. [PMID: 16616733]

Kocsis B, Kaminski M. Dynamic changes in the direction of the theta rhythmic drive between supramammillary nucleus and the septohippocampal system.
Hippocampus. 2006;16(6):531-40. [PMID: 16598710]

Siok CJ, Rogers JA, Kocsis B, Hajós M. Activation of alpha7 acetylcholine receptors augments stimulation-induced
hippocampal theta oscillation.
Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Jan;23(2):570-4. [PMID: 16420464]

Kocsis B, Varga V, Dahan L, Sik A. Serotonergic neuron diversity: identification of raphe neurons with discharges time-locked to the hippocampal theta rhythm.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 24;103(4):1059-64. Epub 2006 Jan 17.
PMID: 16418294

Li S, Varga V, Sik A, Kocsis B. GABAergic control of the ascending input from the median raphe nucleus to the
limbic system.
J Neurophysiol. 2005 Oct;94(4):2561-74. [PMID: 15944232]

Kocsis B, Li S. In vivo contribution of h-channels in the septal pacemaker to theta rhythm generation.
Eur J Neurosci. 2004 Oct;20(8):2149-58. [PMID: 15450094]

Kocsis B, Gyimesi-Pelczer K. Patterns of relationship between activity of sympathetic nerves in rabbits and
Auton Neurosci. 2004 Jul 30;114(1-2):17-28. [PMID: 15331041]

Cantero JL, Atienza M, Stickgold R, Kahana MJ, Madsen JR, Kocsis B. Sleep-dependent theta oscillations in the human hippocampus and neocortex.
J Neurosci. 2003 Nov 26;23(34):10897-903. [PMID: 14645485]

Varga V, Kocsis B, Sharp T. Electrophysiological evidence for convergence of inputs from the medial prefrontal cortex and lateral habenula on single neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus.
Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Jan;17(2):280-6. [PMID: 12542664]

Kocsis B, Gyimesi-Pelczer K. Activation of the 10-Hz sympathetic generator during the second phase of severe
hypoxia-hypercapnia and Cushing reaction.
Auton Neurosci. 2002 Jun 28;98(1-2):41-4. [PMID: 12144038]

Kocsis B, Gyimesi-Pelczer K. Coherent sympathetic nerve activity in different postganglionic nerves after spinal cord transection in the cat.
Auton Neurosci. 2002 Jun 28;98(1-2):37-40. [PMID: 12144037]

Viana Di Prisco G, Albo Z, Vertes RP, Kocsis B. Discharge properties of neurons of the median raphe nucleus during hippocampal theta rhythm in the rat.
Exp Brain Res. 2002 Aug;145(3):383-94. [PMID: 12136388]

Kiss J, Csáki A, Bokor H, Kocsis K, Kocsis B. Possible glutamatergic/aspartatergic projections to the supramammillary nucleus and their origins in the rat studied by selective [(3)H]D-aspartate labelling and immunocytochemistry.
Neuroscience. 2002;111(3):671-91. [PMID: 12031353]

Varga V, Sik A, Freund TF, Kocsis B. GABA(B) receptors in the median raphe nucleus: distribution and role in the serotonergic control of hippocampal activity.
Neuroscience. 2002;109(1):119-32. [PMID: 11784704]

Kocsis B, Di Prisco GV, Vertes RP. Theta synchronization in the limbic system: the role of Gudden's tegmental nuclei.
Eur J Neurosci. 2001 Jan;13(2):381-8. [PMID: 11168543]

Dempesy CW, Richardson DE, Kocsis B, Fontana CJ, Song JH. Lateral tegmental field neurons with activity correlated to the 10-Hz rhythm in sympathetic nerve discharge.
Brain Res. 2000 Jan 3;852(1):213-6. [PMID: 10661515]

Rowe K, Moreno R, Lau TR, Wallooppillai U, Nearing BD, Kocsis B, Quattrochi J, Hobson JA, Verrier RL. Heart rate surges during REM sleep are associated with theta rhythm and PGO activity in cats.
Am J Physiol. 1999 Sep;277(3 Pt 2):R843-9. [PMID: 10484502]

Kocsis B, Bragin A, Buzsáki G. Interdependence of multiple theta generators in the hippocampus: a partial
coherence analysis.
J Neurosci. 1999 Jul 15;19(14):6200-12. [PMID: 10407056]

Kocsis B, Karlsson T, Wallin BG. Cardiac- and noncardiac-related coherence between sympathetic drives to muscles
of different human limbs.
Am J Physiol. 1999 Jun;276(6 Pt 2):R1608-16. [PMID: 10362738]

Kocsis B, Gyimesi-Pelczer K, Vertes RP. Medium-frequency oscillations dominate the inspiratory nerve discharge of anesthetized newborn rats.
Brain Res. 1999 Feb 6;818(1):180-3. [PMID: 9914455]

Gyimesi-Pelczer K, Kocsis B. Spinal cord segments mediating tonic sympathetic nerve discharge to the kidney in the anesthetized cat.
J Auton Nerv Syst. 1998 Apr 30;69(2-3):122-6. [PMID: 9696267]

Kocsis B, Gyimesi-Pelczer K. Spinal segments communicating resting sympathetic activity to postganglionic nerves of the stellate ganglion.
Am J Physiol. 1998 Aug;275(2 Pt 2):R400-9. [PMID: 9688674]

Varga V, Kekesi A, Juhasz G, Kocsis B. Reduction of the extracellular level of glutamate in the median raphe nucleus associated with hippocampal theta activity in the anaesthetized rat.
Neuroscience. 1998 May;84(1):49-57. [PMID: 9522361]

Dempesy CW, Richardson DE, Kocsis B, Fontana CJ, Song JH. Neurons of the rostral para-ambiguual field have activity correlated to the 10-Hz rhythm in sympathetic nerve discharge of urethane-anesthetized cat.
Brain Res. 1997 Sep 12;768(1-2):102-10. [PMID: 9369306]

Vertes RP, Kocsis B. Brainstem-diencephalo-septohippocampal systems controlling the theta rhythm of the hippocampus.
Neuroscience. 1997 Dec;81(4):893-926. Review. [PMID: 9330355]

Kocsis B, Gyimesi-Pelczer K. Power spectral analysis of inspiratory nerve activity in the anesthetized rat: uncorrelated fast oscillations in different inspiratory nerves.
Brain Res. 1997 Jan 16;745(1-2):309-12. [PMID: 9037423]

Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Phase relations of rhythmic neuronal firing in the supramammillary nucleus and mammillary body to the hippocampal theta activity in urethane anesthetized rats.
Hippocampus. 1997;7(2):204-14. [PMID: 9136050]

Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Midbrain raphe cell firing and hippocampal theta rhythm in urethane-anaesthetized rats.
Neuroreport. 1996 Nov 25;7(18):2867-72. [PMID: 9116199]

Kinney GG, Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Medial septal unit firing characteristics following injections of 8-OH-DPAT into the median raphe nucleus.
Brain Res. 1996 Feb 5;708(1-2):116-22. [PMID: 8720866]

Kinney GG, Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Injections of muscimol into the median raphe nucleus produce hippocampal theta rhythm in the urethane anesthetized rat.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1995 Aug;120(3):244-8. [PMID: 8524970]

Thinschmidt JS, Kinney GG, Kocsis B. The supramammillary nucleus: is it necessary for the mediation of hippocampal theta rhythm?
Neuroscience. 1995 Jul;67(2):301-12. [PMID: 7675171]

Kocsis B. Baroreceptor influence on the relationships between discharges of differentsympathetic nerves of the cat.
J Physiol. 1995 Feb 1;482 ( Pt 3):687-96. [PMID: 7738857]

Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Characterization of neurons of the supramammillary nucleus and mammillary body that discharge rhythmically with the hippocampal theta rhythm in the rat.
J Neurosci. 1994 Nov;14(11 Pt 2):7040-52. [PMID: 7965097]

Kocsis B, Thinschmidt JS, Kinney GG, Vertes RP.  Separation of hippocampal theta dipoles by partial coherence analysis in the rat.
Brain Res. 1994 Oct 17;660(2):341-5. [PMID: 7820704]

Kocsis B. Basis for differential coupling between rhythmic discharges of sympathetic efferent nerves.
Am J Physiol. 1994 Oct;267(4 Pt 2):R1008-19. [PMID: 7943411]

Kinney GG, Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Injections of excitatory amino acid antagonists into the median raphe nucleus produce hippocampal theta rhythm in the urethane-anesthetized rat.
Brain Res. 1994 Aug 15;654(1):96-104. [PMID: 7982102]

Vertes RP, Kinney GG, Kocsis B, Fortin WJ. Pharmacological suppression of the median raphe nucleus with serotonin1A agonists, 8-OH-DPAT and buspirone, produces hippocampal theta rhythm in the rat.
Neuroscience. 1994 May;60(2):441-51. [PMID: 8072690]

Vertes RP, Kocsis B. Projections of the dorsal raphe nucleus to the brainstem: PHA-L analysis in the rat.
J Comp Neurol. 1994 Feb 1;340(1):11-26. [PMID: 8176000]

Kocsis B, Fedina L, Gyimesi-Pelczer K, Ladocsi T, Pasztor E.  Differential sympathetic reactions during cerebral ischaemia in cats: the role of desynchronized nerve discharge.
J Physiol. 1993 Sep;469:37-50. [PMID: 8271203]

Kocsis B, Vertes RP. Dorsal raphe neurons: synchronous discharge with the theta rhythm of the hippocampus in the freely behaving rat.
J Neurophysiol. 1992 Oct;68(4):1463-7. [PMID: 1432093]

Kocsis B, Lenkei Z. Coordination between cardiovascular and respiratory control systems during and
after cerebral ischemia.
J Appl Physiol. 1992 Apr;72(4):1595-603. [PMID: 1592753]

Kocsis B.  Whether there are differential relationships among discharges of postganglionic sympathetic nerves remains an open question.
Am J Physiol. 1992 Apr;262(4 Pt 2):R717-20. [PMID: 1566939]

Kocsis B, Fedina L, Pasztor E. Effect of preexisting brain ischemia on sympathetic nerve response to intracranial hypertension.
J Appl Physiol. 1991 May;70(5):2181-7. [PMID: 1864800]

Kenney MJ, Gebber GL, Barman SM, Kocsis B. Forebrain rhythm generators influence sympathetic activity in anesthetized cats.
Am J Physiol. 1990 Sep;259(3 Pt 2):R572-8. [PMID: 2396715]

Gebber GL, Barman SM, Kocsis B. Coherence of medullary unit activity and sympathetic nerve discharge.
Am J Physiol. 1990 Sep;259(3 Pt 2):R561-71. [PMID: 2396714]

Kocsis B, Fedina L, Pasztor E. Comparison of methods eliciting cerebral ischaemic pressor response in the cat.
Neurol Res. 1990 Mar;12(1):49-53. [PMID: 1970626]

Kocsis B, Fedina L, Pasztor E. Two-phase change of sympathetic rhythms in brain ischemia, Cushing reaction, and
Am J Physiol. 1989 Jan;256(1 Pt 2):R120-32. [PMID: 2912204]

Lukoshkova EV, Kocsis B, Shuvalova TB, Khayutin VM. Characterization of the very late cardiosympathetic A-reflex in high-mesencephalic cats.
Brain Res. 1987 Jun 2;412(2):357-62. [PMID: 3607472]

Pásztor E, Fedina L, Kocsis B, Berta Z. Activity of peripheral sympathetic efferent nerves in experimental subarachnoid
haemorrhage. Part I: Observations at the time of intracranial hypertension.
Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1986;79(2-4):125-31. [PMID: 3962742]

Fedina L, Pásztor E, Kocsis B, Berta Z. Activity of peripheral sympathetic efferent nerves in experimental subarachnoid
haemorrhage. Part II: Observations during the "early vasospasm" period.
Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1986;80(1-2):42-6. [PMID: 3706012]

Kocsis B. Real-time blood pressure monitoring in physiological experiments using an Apple II microcomputer.
Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 1985 Nov;21(2):101-6. [PMID: 3853481]

Rohla M, Gaál K, Kiss P, Kocsis B. Intracerebroventricular angiotensin II injection does not elicit specific appetite for sodium in the rat.
Acta Physiol Acad Sci Hung. 1981;58(3):169-80. [PMID: 7348020]

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