All events, 2015

Understanding the roles of amygdala-prefrontal connections through targeted optogenetic perturbation

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Ofer Yizhar
|
Department of Neurobiology, WIS

Fear-related disorders are thought to reflect strong and persistent learned fear associations resulting from aberrant synaptic plasticity mechanisms. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) play a key role in the acquisition and extinction of fear memories. Strong reciprocal synaptic connections between these two regions are believed to play a role in the encoding of fear memories, but the contribution of these projection pathways to memory formation and maintenance remains elusive. We evaluated several optogenetic approaches for silencing presynaptic terminals. Surprisingly, we found that sustained activation of Arch, a light-gated proton pump that is commonly used for optogenetic silencing, paradoxically causes presynaptic calcium influx and neurotransmitter release. This increase in neurotransmission was mediated by presynaptic alkalization and calcium influx, and resulted in recruitment of local-circuit feed-forward inhibition, potentially confounding the interpretation of such experiments. We therefore established an optogenetic stimulation protocol that evokes long-term depression in BLA-mPFC synapses. Using this approach, we explored the role of the BLA-mPFC pathway in fear learning. We found that attenuation of synaptic strength in this pathway prior to fear conditioning leads to impaired learning. In mice that have already acquired the cued fear association, depotentiation of BLA-mPFC inputs prior to extinction training facilitated the extinction process. Our findings suggest a new role for the BLA-mPFC pathway not only in the in the acquisition but also the maintenance of learned associations and provide a framework for functional analysis of long-range projections.

The role of microRNAs in regulating the central stress response and their involvement in stress-induced psychopathologies

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Hour: 15:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Naama Volk (PhD Defense Thesis)
|
Alon Chen Lab, Dept of Neurobiology, WIS

microRNAs (miRNAs) are important post transcriptional regulators of the mRNA levels of key gene products in distinct cell types. The main focus of my PhD thesis was to mechanistically explore the emerging role of specific miRNAs in the complex regulation of the central stress response and to study their possible involvement in stress-induced psychiatric disorders. In this lecture, I will describe three related projects, demonstrating the identification and function of three stress-linked miRNAs and their involvement in stress response regulation and stress-induced psychopathologies in both preclinical models and human patients.

A visual pathway with wide-field properties is required for elementary motion-detection

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Marion Silies
|
European Neuroscience Institute Gottingen, Germany

Visual motion cues are used by many animals to guide navigation through their environments. Long-standing theoretical models have made predictions about the computations that compare light signals across space and time to detect motion. Separate candidate ON and OFF pathway that can implement various algorithmic steps have been proposed in the Drosophila visual system based on connectomic and physiological approaches. However, proposed circuit elements are often not functionally required, suggesting redundant circuits at least. Using forward genetic approaches, we identified neurons of a third visual pathway in which the first order interneurons L3 provides a key input to direction-selective T5 neurons via the medulla neuron Tm9. While neurons of this pathway are behaviorally required for OFF motion detection, their physiological properties do not line up with predicted features of motion detection. Using in vivo 2 photon calcium imaging, we show that this pathway carries sustained responses to contrast changes and exhibits wide field properties that inform elementary motion detectors about wide regions of visual space. Given that these signals are essential for elementary motion-detection, we are currently investigating the full microcircuit architecture of this OFF pathway, as well as its molecular and physiological specializations. Our goal is to understand the circuits and computations that implement behavioral responses to visual motion.

The Neuroscience of Avatars

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium
Prof. Mark Sagar
|
Laboratory for Animate Technologies Auckland Bioengineering Institute The University of Auckland New Zealand

Mark Sagar is the director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and a leading expert on creating interactive autonomously animated systems which will help defi the next generation of human-computer interaction and facial animation. He started his career building computer simulations of the human eye for virtual surgery, and later worked as the Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital and was involved with the creation of technology for the digital characters in blockbusters such as Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognized with two consecutive Oscars at the 2010 and 2011 Sci-tech awards, a branch of the Academy Awards that recognizes movie science and technological achievements.

Molecular and Cellular Architecture of Social Behavior Circuits in the Mouse Brain

Lecture
Date:
Monday, December 14, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Catherine Dulac
|
Dept of Molecular and Cellular Biology Harvard University Cambridge, MA

Blood sweat and tears: Social chemosignaling in human health and disease

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Noam Sobel
|
Department of Neurobiology, WIS

Most animals communicate using social chemosignals, namely chemicals emitted by one member of the species, which then produce chemical and behavioral changes in other members of the species. Such communication is prevalent in insects and terrestrial mammals, and mounting evidence implies that it is also common in human behavior, albeit primarily at a subliminal level. Human social chemosignals are responsible for a host of effects ranging from driving menstrual synchrony in women to conveying fear across individuals. Here I will describe our findings on mechanisms of human chemosignaling in both health and disease. Based on these findings I will argue that in contrast to common notions, humans are highly olfactory animals.

Rapid and context-dependent plasticity of human olfactory functions

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Hour: 12:15
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Johan Lundstrom
|
Dept of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm

Revisiting the functional architecture of the human brain with intracranial EEG and direct electrical stimulation of the cerebral cortex

Lecture
Date:
Monday, August 24, 2015
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Josef Parvizi
|
Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University

Munc13s - Presynaptic Regulators of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Physiology and Pathology

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Hour: 13:00
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Dr. Noa Lipstein
|
Dept of Molecular Neurobiology Max-Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine

Munc13 proteins are key determinants of synaptic vesicle priming and absolutely essential for the completion of the synaptic vesicle cycle at presynaptic active zones. Munc13 function is regulated by three different Ca2+-dependent pathways, and elevations of the presynaptic Ca2+ concentration during neuronal activity leads to a Munc13-dependent increase in the synaptic vesicle priming rate, and consequently to dynamic changes in the efficacy of neurotransmission. I will describe how the Ca2+-dependent regulation of Munc13s affects synaptic signaling in intact circuits, and present the first known synaptopathy caused by a mutation in Munc13-1, which affects a recently discovered interplay between Munc13s, voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, and synaptic vesicle fusogenicity.

Exploring neuro-glio-vascular interactions through in vivo imaging of the mouse brain

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Jaime Grutzendler, MD
|
Dept of Neurology, Yale University

I will discuss several lines of research in our lab utilizing high resolution in vivo and fixed tissue imaging to explore physiological and pathological mechanisms in the brain. Specifically we will discuss recent observations regarding mechanisms of neurovascular coupling and the role of smooth muscle cells versus pericytes in vasomotor responses after neural stimulation. We will also discuss findings related to a novel mechanism of microvascular recanalization that we termed angiophagy that could have potential important roles in stroke pathogenesis. Finally we will present a new method that we developed for high resolution label-free in vivo imaging of individual cortical myelinated axons that is allowing studies of myelin development and pathology.

Pages

All events, 2015

Understanding the roles of amygdala-prefrontal connections through targeted optogenetic perturbation

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Ofer Yizhar
|
Department of Neurobiology, WIS

Fear-related disorders are thought to reflect strong and persistent learned fear associations resulting from aberrant synaptic plasticity mechanisms. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) play a key role in the acquisition and extinction of fear memories. Strong reciprocal synaptic connections between these two regions are believed to play a role in the encoding of fear memories, but the contribution of these projection pathways to memory formation and maintenance remains elusive. We evaluated several optogenetic approaches for silencing presynaptic terminals. Surprisingly, we found that sustained activation of Arch, a light-gated proton pump that is commonly used for optogenetic silencing, paradoxically causes presynaptic calcium influx and neurotransmitter release. This increase in neurotransmission was mediated by presynaptic alkalization and calcium influx, and resulted in recruitment of local-circuit feed-forward inhibition, potentially confounding the interpretation of such experiments. We therefore established an optogenetic stimulation protocol that evokes long-term depression in BLA-mPFC synapses. Using this approach, we explored the role of the BLA-mPFC pathway in fear learning. We found that attenuation of synaptic strength in this pathway prior to fear conditioning leads to impaired learning. In mice that have already acquired the cued fear association, depotentiation of BLA-mPFC inputs prior to extinction training facilitated the extinction process. Our findings suggest a new role for the BLA-mPFC pathway not only in the in the acquisition but also the maintenance of learned associations and provide a framework for functional analysis of long-range projections.

The role of microRNAs in regulating the central stress response and their involvement in stress-induced psychopathologies

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Hour: 15:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Naama Volk (PhD Defense Thesis)
|
Alon Chen Lab, Dept of Neurobiology, WIS

microRNAs (miRNAs) are important post transcriptional regulators of the mRNA levels of key gene products in distinct cell types. The main focus of my PhD thesis was to mechanistically explore the emerging role of specific miRNAs in the complex regulation of the central stress response and to study their possible involvement in stress-induced psychiatric disorders. In this lecture, I will describe three related projects, demonstrating the identification and function of three stress-linked miRNAs and their involvement in stress response regulation and stress-induced psychopathologies in both preclinical models and human patients.

A visual pathway with wide-field properties is required for elementary motion-detection

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Dr. Marion Silies
|
European Neuroscience Institute Gottingen, Germany

Visual motion cues are used by many animals to guide navigation through their environments. Long-standing theoretical models have made predictions about the computations that compare light signals across space and time to detect motion. Separate candidate ON and OFF pathway that can implement various algorithmic steps have been proposed in the Drosophila visual system based on connectomic and physiological approaches. However, proposed circuit elements are often not functionally required, suggesting redundant circuits at least. Using forward genetic approaches, we identified neurons of a third visual pathway in which the first order interneurons L3 provides a key input to direction-selective T5 neurons via the medulla neuron Tm9. While neurons of this pathway are behaviorally required for OFF motion detection, their physiological properties do not line up with predicted features of motion detection. Using in vivo 2 photon calcium imaging, we show that this pathway carries sustained responses to contrast changes and exhibits wide field properties that inform elementary motion detectors about wide regions of visual space. Given that these signals are essential for elementary motion-detection, we are currently investigating the full microcircuit architecture of this OFF pathway, as well as its molecular and physiological specializations. Our goal is to understand the circuits and computations that implement behavioral responses to visual motion.

The Neuroscience of Avatars

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium
Prof. Mark Sagar
|
Laboratory for Animate Technologies Auckland Bioengineering Institute The University of Auckland New Zealand

Mark Sagar is the director of the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and a leading expert on creating interactive autonomously animated systems which will help defi the next generation of human-computer interaction and facial animation. He started his career building computer simulations of the human eye for virtual surgery, and later worked as the Special Projects Supervisor at Weta Digital and was involved with the creation of technology for the digital characters in blockbusters such as Avatar, King Kong, and Spiderman 2. His pioneering work in computer-generated faces was recognized with two consecutive Oscars at the 2010 and 2011 Sci-tech awards, a branch of the Academy Awards that recognizes movie science and technological achievements.

Molecular and Cellular Architecture of Social Behavior Circuits in the Mouse Brain

Lecture
Date:
Monday, December 14, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Catherine Dulac
|
Dept of Molecular and Cellular Biology Harvard University Cambridge, MA

Blood sweat and tears: Social chemosignaling in human health and disease

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Noam Sobel
|
Department of Neurobiology, WIS

Most animals communicate using social chemosignals, namely chemicals emitted by one member of the species, which then produce chemical and behavioral changes in other members of the species. Such communication is prevalent in insects and terrestrial mammals, and mounting evidence implies that it is also common in human behavior, albeit primarily at a subliminal level. Human social chemosignals are responsible for a host of effects ranging from driving menstrual synchrony in women to conveying fear across individuals. Here I will describe our findings on mechanisms of human chemosignaling in both health and disease. Based on these findings I will argue that in contrast to common notions, humans are highly olfactory animals.

Rapid and context-dependent plasticity of human olfactory functions

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Hour: 12:15
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Johan Lundstrom
|
Dept of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm

Revisiting the functional architecture of the human brain with intracranial EEG and direct electrical stimulation of the cerebral cortex

Lecture
Date:
Monday, August 24, 2015
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Josef Parvizi
|
Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University

Munc13s - Presynaptic Regulators of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Physiology and Pathology

Lecture
Date:
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Hour: 13:00
Location:
Nella and Leon Benoziyo Building for Brain Research
Dr. Noa Lipstein
|
Dept of Molecular Neurobiology Max-Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine

Munc13 proteins are key determinants of synaptic vesicle priming and absolutely essential for the completion of the synaptic vesicle cycle at presynaptic active zones. Munc13 function is regulated by three different Ca2+-dependent pathways, and elevations of the presynaptic Ca2+ concentration during neuronal activity leads to a Munc13-dependent increase in the synaptic vesicle priming rate, and consequently to dynamic changes in the efficacy of neurotransmission. I will describe how the Ca2+-dependent regulation of Munc13s affects synaptic signaling in intact circuits, and present the first known synaptopathy caused by a mutation in Munc13-1, which affects a recently discovered interplay between Munc13s, voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, and synaptic vesicle fusogenicity.

Exploring neuro-glio-vascular interactions through in vivo imaging of the mouse brain

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Jaime Grutzendler, MD
|
Dept of Neurology, Yale University

I will discuss several lines of research in our lab utilizing high resolution in vivo and fixed tissue imaging to explore physiological and pathological mechanisms in the brain. Specifically we will discuss recent observations regarding mechanisms of neurovascular coupling and the role of smooth muscle cells versus pericytes in vasomotor responses after neural stimulation. We will also discuss findings related to a novel mechanism of microvascular recanalization that we termed angiophagy that could have potential important roles in stroke pathogenesis. Finally we will present a new method that we developed for high resolution label-free in vivo imaging of individual cortical myelinated axons that is allowing studies of myelin development and pathology.

Pages

All events, 2015

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All events, 2015

Prefrontal mechanisms of cognitive control

Conference
Date:
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Hour:
Location:
Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Building for Biomedical Research

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Challenges in the frontiers of brain and cognition research

Conference
Date:
Monday, February 9, 2015
Hour:
Location:
David Lopatie Conference Centre

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Engineering the Brain

Conference
Date:
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Hour: 09:00 - 14:00
Location:
David Lopatie Conference Centre

Engineering the Brain

Conference
Date:
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Hour: 09:00 - 14:00
Location:
David Lopatie Conference Centre

Advances in Brain Sciences: RIKEN BSI and WIS Workshop

Conference
Date:
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Hour:
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium

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