Experience-dependent plasticity

Electrical activity in the nervous system occurs in two general forms: spontaneous activity independent of sensory inputs or motor outputs, and experience-driven or use-dependent activity. Both types of activity regulate the development of neural circuits. Dimorphic circuits provide an ideal context to study the effects of activity on the initial formation of synaptic contacts, the maturation of synapses and the structural refinement of connectivity via pruning. Using high-resolution live-imaging microscopy, optogenetics, and calcium imaging, we will utilize the power of C. elegans to study whether dimorphic behaviors are completely hard-wired or plastic and if they are influenced by experience and/or activity.

Mating in C. elegans