Doctor Sam Merlin

Doctor Sam Merlin

Lecturer, Human Anatomy,
Medical Sciences


Sam Merlin is a lecturer in Human Anatomy at the School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University. After completing his PhD (2011) at the University of Sydney, he undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Utah, under the supervision of Prof Alessandra Angelucci. During this time, Sam worked on the functional circuitry underlying visual processing, utilising state-of-the-art techniques, including optogenetics, viral circuit tracing, CLARITY tissue clearing and multiphoton microscopy. Sam’s research interests lie in understanding the neural circuits that underlie perception and cognition. To address this question, Sam uses viral tracing techniques to identify interconnected brain regions and functional manipulations by optogenetic or DREADDs inactivation.


Professional Activities:

Affiliate Researcher, ARC Centre for Excellence in Integrative Brain Function; Member, Australian Neuroscience Society.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Merlin.


  • PhD University of Sydney

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Medical Sciences


Phone: (02) 4620 3399
Location: 21.1.11

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Journal Articles

  • Federer, F., Ta?afua, S., Merlin, S., Hassanpour, M. and Angelucci, A. (2021), 'Stream-specific feedback inputs to the primate primary visual cortex', Nature Communications, vol 12, no 1 .
  • Habiba, U., Merlin, S., Lim, J., Wong, V., Nguyen, C., Morley, J., Bui, B. and Tayebi, M. (2020), 'Age-specific retinal and cerebral immunodetection of amyloid-? plaques and oligomers in a rodent model of Alzheimer's disease', Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, vol 76, no 3 , pp 1135 - 1150.
  • Nurminen, L., Merlin, S., Bijanzadeh, M., Federer, F. and Angelucci, A. (2018), 'Top-down feedback controls spatial summation and response amplitude in primate visual cortex', Nature Communications, vol 9, no 1 .
  • Bijanzadeh, M., Nurminen, L., Merlin, S., Clark, A. and Angelucci, A. (2018), 'Distinct laminar processing of local and global context in primate primary visual cortex', Neuron, vol 100, no 1 , pp 259 - 2744.
  • Angelucci, A., Bijanzadeh, M., Nurminen, L., Federer, F., Merlin, S. and Bressloff, P. (2017), 'Circuits and mechanisms for surround modulation in visual cortex', Annual Review of Neuroscience, vol 40 , pp 425 - 451.
  • Boutte, R., Merlin, S., Yona, G., Griffiths, B., Angelucci, A., Kahn, I., Shoham, S. and Blair, S. (2017), 'Utah optrode array customization using stereotactic brain atlases and 3-D CAD modeling for optogenetic neocortical interrogation in small rodents and nonhuman primates', Neurophotonics, vol 4, no 4 .
  • Merlin, S., Horng, S., Marotte, L., Sur, M., Sawatari, A. and Leamey, C. (2013), 'Deletion of Ten-m3 induces the formation of eye dominance domains in mouse visual cortex', Cerebral Cortex, vol 23, no 4 , pp 763 - 774.
  • Federer, F., Williams, D., Ichida, J., Merlin, S. and Angelucci, A. (2013), 'Two projection streams from macaque V1 to the pale cytochrome oxidase stripes of V2', Journal of Neuroscience, vol 33, no 28 , pp 11530 - 11539.
  • Leamey, C., Merlin, S., Lattouf, P., Sawatari, A., Zhou, X., Demel, N., Glendining, K., Oohashi, T., Sur, M. and Fassler, R. (2007), 'Ten_m3 regulates eye-specific patterning in the mammalian visual pathway and is required for binocular vision', PLoS Biology, vol 5, no 9 , pp 2077 - 2092.

Conference Papers

  • Boutte, R., Merlin, S., Griffiths, B., Parry, T. and Blair, S. (2017), 'Using stereotactic brain atlases for small rodents and nonhuman primates for optrode array customization', SPIE Conference on Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging, San Francisco, Calif..

Current Projects

Title: Utilizing a DREADDS approach to treat the motor and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's disease in an animal model
  • Parkinsons NSW Inc
Western Researchers: Sam Merlin
Years: 2019-03-01 - 2021-12-31
ID: P00025521

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

Tel: +61 2 9852 5222

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k

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