Matthew A. Xu-Friedman


Matthew A. Xu-Friedman.

Matthew A. Xu-Friedman


Matthew A. Xu-Friedman


Research Interests

Neuronal computation in the auditory system


  • BS, Yale University
  • PhD, Cornell University
  • Postdoctoral Research, Harvard Medical School

Office Hours

  • Wednesday: 11:00am - 1:00pm

Research Summary

The Xu-Friedman lab studies the mechanisms and functions of synaptic plasticity, focusing on auditory nerve synapses in the mouse cochlear nucleus as a model system. The lab investigates both activity- and neuromodulator-dependent plasticities, using electrophysiology and calcium imaging in brain slices. In addition, the functional effects of plasticity are being studied by recording from auditory nerve and cochlear nucleus in vivo.

Selected Publications

  • Wong NF, Xu-Friedman MA (2022) Induction of activity-dependent plasticity at auditory nerve synapses. J Neurosci 42: 6211–6220. Research featured in “This Week in the Journal."
  • Burlingham SR, Wong NF, Peterkin L, Benner O, Ghebrial M, Cast TP, Xu-Friedman MA, Südhof TC, Chanda S (2022) Generation of GABAergic synapses by de novo neuro­transmitter synthesis. Nat. Comm. 13: 3060. Research also featured here.
  • Wong NF, Xu-Friedman MA (2022) Time course of activity-dependent changes in auditory nerve synapses reveals multiple underlying cellular mechanisms. J Neurosci 42: 2492–2502.
  • Zhuang XW, Wong NF, Sun W, and Xu-Friedman MA (2020) Mechanisms and functional consequences of presynaptic homeostatic plasticity at auditory nerve synapses. J Neurosci 40: 6896-6909.
  • Fischer AU, Müller NIC, Deller T, Del Turco D, Griesemer D, Kattler K, Maraslioglu A, Roemer V, Xu-Friedman MA, Walter J, and Friauf E (2019) GABA is a modulator, rather than a classical transmitter, in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body–lateral superior olive sound localization circuit. J Physiol 597: 2269–2295.
  • Lauer AM, Dent ML, Sun W, Xu-Friedman MA (2019) Effects of non-traumatic noise and conductive hearing loss on auditory system function. Neurosci 407: 182-191.
  • Zhuang XW, Sun W, and Xu-Friedman MA (2017) Changes in properties of auditory nerve synapses following conductive hearing loss. J Neurosci 37: 323-332. Research featured in This Week in the Journal.
  • Yang Y, Ramamurthy B, Neef A, Xu-Friedman MA (2016) Low somatic sodium conductance enhances action potential precision in time-coding auditory neurons. J Neurosci 36: 11999–12009.
  • Toal KL, Radziwon KE, Holfoth DP, Xu-Friedman MA, and Dent ML (2016) Audiograms, gap detection thresholds, and frequency difference limens in cannabinoid receptor 1 knockout mice. Hear Res 332: 217-222.
  • Yang Y and Xu-Friedman MA (2015) Different pools of glutamate receptors mediate sensitivity to ambient glutamate in the cochlear nucleus. J Neurophysiol 113: 3634-45.
  •  Yang Y, Adowski T, Ramamurthy B, Neef A, and Xu-Friedman MA (2015) High-speed dynamic-clamp interface. J Neurophysiol 113: 2713-20.
  •  Yang H and Xu-Friedman MA (2015) Skipped-stimulus approach reveals that short-term plasticity dominates synaptic strength during ongoing activity. J Neurosci 35: 8297-307.
  •  Ngodup T, Goetz JA, McGuire BC, Sun W, Lauer AM, and Xu-Friedman MA (2015) Activity-dependent, homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release from auditory nerve fibers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A112: 6479-84. Research featured at the Academic Minute and Science360.

Download zip-folder: mafPC

The Xu-Friedman Lab developed mafPC as a set of routines written to control Instrutech and National Instruments hardware from Wavemetrics Igor v6 running on PC or Macintosh computers. The mafPC interface is particularly useful for designing complex stimulation paradigms and collecting responses.

The mafPC’s interface is implemented entirely in Igor-native code, so it is platform-independent. That means it is relatively easy to modify the code for sophisticated users.

mafPC can control Heka ITC16 and ITC18, as well as National Instruments E-, M-, and X-series boards.  It can theoretically be adapted with minor changes for any data acquisition system.

The mafPC zip-folder includes: 

  • mafBrowse: a useful tool for reviewing the traces you have collected.
  • mafCam: an interface for interacting with a digital camera.
  • mafDC: a plug-in that implements a powerful dynamic clamp interface.
  • mafITC: a set of routines for controlling your data acquisition system.
  • mafPC: an interface for constructing arbitrarily complex stimulation patterns.
  • mafScope: an oscilloscope window.

The mafPC interface is in constant use in our lab as well as others around the world, and it is quite reliable. The Xu-Friedman Lab encourages you to suggest new features by contacting us. If you publish a paper using mafPC, do please acknowledge using it somewhere in your methods (e.g. “Electrophysiology data were collected using Igor (Wavemetrics) running mafPC (courtesy of M. A. Xu-Friedman)”, or similar.

mafPC updated May 3, 2021