All events, All years

Involvement of hypothalamic neurons in murine social decision making

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Hour: 12:30 - 13:00
Location:
Prof. Shlomo Wagner
|
Department of Neurobiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences University of Haifa

I will discuss two studies from my laboratory, that reveal differential role of hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic oxytocin neurons, as well as anterior hypothalamic neurons in social decision making of adult male mice. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Chemosignals are a form of human social communication

Lecture
Date:
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Hour: 15:00 - 16:00
Location:
Eva Mishor (PhD Thesis Defense)
|
Prof. Noam Sobel Lab, Dept of Neurobiology

Although animals are known to heavily rely on chemical signals for intraspecies communication, the matter of human chemical communication remains greatly contentious. I will present evidence supporting the claim that humans, just like other animals, rely on bodily-odors to effectively navigate the social world. First, I will present a quantification of people’s overt olfactory-sampling behavior. Of approximately 400 respondents, 94% acknowledged engaging in smelling their close relationships, and approximately 60% acknowledged sniffing strangers. Next, we tested if this olfactory information is employed for socially-relevant behavioral decisions, such as trust, a key element in human socialization. We found that subliminal exposure to body-odor increased implicit trustworthiness attributed to anthropomorphic non-humans. Finally, I will describe the effect of a specific body-volatile, Hexadecanal (HEX), on human impulsive aggression. Using validated behavioral paradigms, we observed a remarkable dissociation: sniffing HEX blocked aggression in men, but triggered aggression in women. Using functional brain imaging, we uncovered a pattern of brain activity mirroring behavior: In both men and women, HEX increased activity in an area implicated in the perception of social cues. Hex then modulated functional connectivity in a brain network implicated in aggressive behavior in a sex-dependent manner. Altogether, the thesis puts forward the hypothesis that chemosignals are a form of human social communication. Under this premise, human sampling behavior of self and others’ body-volatiles provides one with important information that, in turn, affects behaviors central to human society, such as trust and aggression. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/98031517872?pwd=U0EvNG5EdGJBL24zWmpKUlY1akdnZz09 Meeting ID: 980 3151 7872 Password: 976632

Deciphering the sexually dimorphic properties of a sex-shared interneuron

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Hour: 10:00 - 11:00
Location:
Hagar Setty (MSc Thesis Defense)
|
Dr. Meital Oren Lab, Dept of Neurobiology

Zoom link to join https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/7576151783?pwd=V2hoQUxvN1IzVlRCU3ZESmcwMHA2Zz09 Meeting ID 7576151783 Password – 050925

Behavioural signatures of a developing neural code

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Hour: 12:30 - 13:30
Location:
Prof. Lilach Avitan
|
Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

During early life the neural code must develop to appropriately transform sensory inputs into behavioural outputs. However little is known about how developments in neural representations directly impact on behaviour. By combining behavioural analysis with 2-photon calcium imaging at multiple timepoints from 4 to 15 dpf in the optic tectum of developing zebrafish larvae, we demonstrate a link between the maturity of neural coding in the visual brain and developmental changes in visually-guided behavior. We show that visually-driven hunting behavior improves from 4 to 15 days post-fertilization, becoming faster and more accurate. During the same period population activity in parts of the optic tectum refines, improving decoding and information transmission for particular spatial positions. Together these results show that developmental signatures of an emerging neural code can be directly related to observable properties of behaviour. Please click the link below to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Coding in the ever-changing world: a mechanistic view of retinal dynamic computation of motion

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Hour: 14:00 - 15:00
Location:
Lea Ankri (PhD Thesis Defense)
|
Dr. Michal Rivlin Lab, Dept of Neurobiology WIS

The world around us is barely stable. To maintain constancy of perception, neuronal circuits adopt multiple mechanisms, each carefully tailored to grant the system with computational fidelity in the face of variable stimuli, yet to enable flexibility of computation in certain contexts. During my PhD I investigated the mechanisms that underlie retinal direction-selectivity. Using electrophysiology and modelling approaches, I will show how several mechanisms cooperate to maintain stability in the circuit’s response to moving objects carrying distinct characteristics. This stability is compromised when the retina is confronted by a repetitive light-adapting stimulus that changes the receptive field of cells in several layers of the circuit. Intriguingly, these changes in the cells’ receptive field expose antagonistic center-surround organization of direction coding: the center receptive field supports response to one direction, while the surround supports response to the opposite direction. Center-surround antagonism is thought to enhance spatial discrimination, but this is the first evidence for its contribution to retinal direction selectivity. This provides an example of how the retina elegantly implements computational motifs that are reminiscent of those found in higher brain regions, using just a handful of cell types, already at the first station of the visual system. (If you are not from the neuroscience field, please check out THIS). Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/91058452206?pwd=UFpBZkVrM1luUSttSGZUTHRiNUg5dz09 Meeting ID: 910 5845 2206 Password: 229240

Short and prolonged dynamics of taste processing in health and disease

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Hour: 12:30 - 13:30
Location:
Dr. Anan Moran
|
Neurobiology Dept Sagol School of Neuroscience Faculty of Life Sciences Tel Aviv University

The brain is rife with feedback connections within and between its regions, which almost inevitably should give rise to dynamic activity in the underlying neuronal populations. In the taste system of awake rats, neurons sequentially transition between activity states that correlate with taste perceptions such as identity, palatability, and novelty. In my talk I will present the current knowledge regarding taste information processing in the taste system and will add our recent description of sub-second novelty information transmission through a new circuit. Next, I will present unpublished data showing the dynamic changes in neuronal activity as taste memory is acquired and consolidated across 12 hours in behaving rats. Last, I will show how taste learning helps us investigating the early, pre-pathological, stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Understanding the distinctive neuronal epigenome

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Prof. Harrison Gabel
|
Dept of Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, USA

Recent discoveries indicate that the genomes of mammalian neurons are enriched for unique epigenetic modifications, including exceptionally high levels of non-CG DNA methylation. In my seminar, I will present our studies defining how a distinctive DNA methylation landscape is established in neurons and exploring how this methylation is read out to control critical gene expression programs. I will discuss the role of gene expression and genome architecture in shaping genomic profiles of non-CG methylation and highlight emerging mechanistic insights into how non-CG methylation and the Rett syndrome protein, MeCP2, work together to control transcription. Finally, I will outline growing evidence that disruption of this regulatory pathway contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Seeing the big picture - time scales of automatic prediction in temporal and frontal cortex

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Prof. Leon Y. Deouell
|
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Research and Dept of Psychology The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

According to the hierarchical predictive-coding framework, regularities in the environment are used by the nervous system for predicting the input, and deviations from this prediction are transmitted as ‘prediction errors’. However, regularities may be based on more than one dimension and may be based on different time windows. Multiple predictions, sometimes contradicting, may be formed simultaneously and it is not clear how the brain deals with this situation. I will present evidence from scalp and intracranial EEG (in humans) showing that different parts of auditory cortex and frontal cortices are involved in predictions in multiple time scales for the same events. These predictions do not obey a simple hierarchy.

Immune therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia: From the bench to the bedside

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Prof. Michal Schwartz
|
Department of Neurobiology, WIS

With increased life expectancy, the incidence of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia has been steadily increasing. Currently, there is not a single treatment that can change the diseases course. Our team, over more than two decades, has demonstrated that the brain needs support from the immune system for its life-long functional plasticity and repair. Furthermore, using immunological and immunogenomic tools, we demonstrated that in AD, the immune system dysfunctions and perpetuates the pathology. Based on these observations and numerous others, we proposed that boosting the systemic immune system might facilitate mobilization of immune cells to help the brain. We found that the optimal way to activate such a reparative immune response is by reducing the restraints on the immune system, by blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitory immune checkpoint pathway. This therapy facilitates translocation of phagocytic cells to the brain; based on their transcriptomic profile, we demonstrated that these cells express molecules that can uniquely remove the toxic forms of misfolded proteins plaques, dead cells, and cell debris, and can thereby rescue synapses, change the disease course and improve brain function. Overall, our results indicate that targeting systemic and local immune cells rather than brain-specific disease-escalating factors provides a multi-dimensional disease-modifying therapy for AD and dementia, regardless of the primary disease etiology. Our approach is under an expedited development process towards clinical trial.

High-dimensional geometry of visual cortex

Lecture
Date:
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Hour: 16:00
Location:
Dr. Carsen Stringer
|
Janelia Research Campus

Interpreting high-dimensional datasets requires new computational and analytical methods. We developed such methods to extract and analyze neural activity from 20,000 neurons recorded simultaneously in awake, behaving mice. The neural activity was not low-dimensional as commonly thought, but instead was high-dimensional and obeyed a power-law scaling across its eigenvalues. We developed a theory that proposes that neural responses to external stimuli maximize information capacity while maintaining a smooth neural code. We then observed power-law eigenvalue scaling in many real-world datasets, and therefore developed a nonlinear manifold embedding algorithm called Rastermap that can capture such high-dimensional structure.

Pages

All events, All years

Involvement of hypothalamic neurons in murine social decision making

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Hour: 12:30 - 13:00
Location:
Prof. Shlomo Wagner
|
Department of Neurobiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences University of Haifa

I will discuss two studies from my laboratory, that reveal differential role of hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic oxytocin neurons, as well as anterior hypothalamic neurons in social decision making of adult male mice. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Chemosignals are a form of human social communication

Lecture
Date:
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Hour: 15:00 - 16:00
Location:
Eva Mishor (PhD Thesis Defense)
|
Prof. Noam Sobel Lab, Dept of Neurobiology

Although animals are known to heavily rely on chemical signals for intraspecies communication, the matter of human chemical communication remains greatly contentious. I will present evidence supporting the claim that humans, just like other animals, rely on bodily-odors to effectively navigate the social world. First, I will present a quantification of people’s overt olfactory-sampling behavior. Of approximately 400 respondents, 94% acknowledged engaging in smelling their close relationships, and approximately 60% acknowledged sniffing strangers. Next, we tested if this olfactory information is employed for socially-relevant behavioral decisions, such as trust, a key element in human socialization. We found that subliminal exposure to body-odor increased implicit trustworthiness attributed to anthropomorphic non-humans. Finally, I will describe the effect of a specific body-volatile, Hexadecanal (HEX), on human impulsive aggression. Using validated behavioral paradigms, we observed a remarkable dissociation: sniffing HEX blocked aggression in men, but triggered aggression in women. Using functional brain imaging, we uncovered a pattern of brain activity mirroring behavior: In both men and women, HEX increased activity in an area implicated in the perception of social cues. Hex then modulated functional connectivity in a brain network implicated in aggressive behavior in a sex-dependent manner. Altogether, the thesis puts forward the hypothesis that chemosignals are a form of human social communication. Under this premise, human sampling behavior of self and others’ body-volatiles provides one with important information that, in turn, affects behaviors central to human society, such as trust and aggression. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/98031517872?pwd=U0EvNG5EdGJBL24zWmpKUlY1akdnZz09 Meeting ID: 980 3151 7872 Password: 976632

Deciphering the sexually dimorphic properties of a sex-shared interneuron

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Hour: 10:00 - 11:00
Location:
Hagar Setty (MSc Thesis Defense)
|
Dr. Meital Oren Lab, Dept of Neurobiology

Zoom link to join https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/7576151783?pwd=V2hoQUxvN1IzVlRCU3ZESmcwMHA2Zz09 Meeting ID 7576151783 Password – 050925

Behavioural signatures of a developing neural code

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Hour: 12:30 - 13:30
Location:
Prof. Lilach Avitan
|
Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

During early life the neural code must develop to appropriately transform sensory inputs into behavioural outputs. However little is known about how developments in neural representations directly impact on behaviour. By combining behavioural analysis with 2-photon calcium imaging at multiple timepoints from 4 to 15 dpf in the optic tectum of developing zebrafish larvae, we demonstrate a link between the maturity of neural coding in the visual brain and developmental changes in visually-guided behavior. We show that visually-driven hunting behavior improves from 4 to 15 days post-fertilization, becoming faster and more accurate. During the same period population activity in parts of the optic tectum refines, improving decoding and information transmission for particular spatial positions. Together these results show that developmental signatures of an emerging neural code can be directly related to observable properties of behaviour. Please click the link below to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Coding in the ever-changing world: a mechanistic view of retinal dynamic computation of motion

Lecture
Date:
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Hour: 14:00 - 15:00
Location:
Lea Ankri (PhD Thesis Defense)
|
Dr. Michal Rivlin Lab, Dept of Neurobiology WIS

The world around us is barely stable. To maintain constancy of perception, neuronal circuits adopt multiple mechanisms, each carefully tailored to grant the system with computational fidelity in the face of variable stimuli, yet to enable flexibility of computation in certain contexts. During my PhD I investigated the mechanisms that underlie retinal direction-selectivity. Using electrophysiology and modelling approaches, I will show how several mechanisms cooperate to maintain stability in the circuit’s response to moving objects carrying distinct characteristics. This stability is compromised when the retina is confronted by a repetitive light-adapting stimulus that changes the receptive field of cells in several layers of the circuit. Intriguingly, these changes in the cells’ receptive field expose antagonistic center-surround organization of direction coding: the center receptive field supports response to one direction, while the surround supports response to the opposite direction. Center-surround antagonism is thought to enhance spatial discrimination, but this is the first evidence for its contribution to retinal direction selectivity. This provides an example of how the retina elegantly implements computational motifs that are reminiscent of those found in higher brain regions, using just a handful of cell types, already at the first station of the visual system. (If you are not from the neuroscience field, please check out THIS). Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/91058452206?pwd=UFpBZkVrM1luUSttSGZUTHRiNUg5dz09 Meeting ID: 910 5845 2206 Password: 229240

Short and prolonged dynamics of taste processing in health and disease

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Hour: 12:30 - 13:30
Location:
Dr. Anan Moran
|
Neurobiology Dept Sagol School of Neuroscience Faculty of Life Sciences Tel Aviv University

The brain is rife with feedback connections within and between its regions, which almost inevitably should give rise to dynamic activity in the underlying neuronal populations. In the taste system of awake rats, neurons sequentially transition between activity states that correlate with taste perceptions such as identity, palatability, and novelty. In my talk I will present the current knowledge regarding taste information processing in the taste system and will add our recent description of sub-second novelty information transmission through a new circuit. Next, I will present unpublished data showing the dynamic changes in neuronal activity as taste memory is acquired and consolidated across 12 hours in behaving rats. Last, I will show how taste learning helps us investigating the early, pre-pathological, stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Understanding the distinctive neuronal epigenome

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Hour: 14:00
Location:
Prof. Harrison Gabel
|
Dept of Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, USA

Recent discoveries indicate that the genomes of mammalian neurons are enriched for unique epigenetic modifications, including exceptionally high levels of non-CG DNA methylation. In my seminar, I will present our studies defining how a distinctive DNA methylation landscape is established in neurons and exploring how this methylation is read out to control critical gene expression programs. I will discuss the role of gene expression and genome architecture in shaping genomic profiles of non-CG methylation and highlight emerging mechanistic insights into how non-CG methylation and the Rett syndrome protein, MeCP2, work together to control transcription. Finally, I will outline growing evidence that disruption of this regulatory pathway contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders. Zoom link to join: https://weizmann.zoom.us/j/96608033618?pwd=SEdJUkR2ZzRBZ3laUUdGbWR1VFJTdz09 Meeting ID: 966 0803 3618 Password: 564068 Host: Dr. Rita Schmidt rita.schmidt@weizmann.ac.il tel: 9070

Seeing the big picture - time scales of automatic prediction in temporal and frontal cortex

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Prof. Leon Y. Deouell
|
Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Research and Dept of Psychology The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

According to the hierarchical predictive-coding framework, regularities in the environment are used by the nervous system for predicting the input, and deviations from this prediction are transmitted as ‘prediction errors’. However, regularities may be based on more than one dimension and may be based on different time windows. Multiple predictions, sometimes contradicting, may be formed simultaneously and it is not clear how the brain deals with this situation. I will present evidence from scalp and intracranial EEG (in humans) showing that different parts of auditory cortex and frontal cortices are involved in predictions in multiple time scales for the same events. These predictions do not obey a simple hierarchy.

Immune therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia: From the bench to the bedside

Lecture
Date:
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Hour: 12:30
Location:
Prof. Michal Schwartz
|
Department of Neurobiology, WIS

With increased life expectancy, the incidence of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia has been steadily increasing. Currently, there is not a single treatment that can change the diseases course. Our team, over more than two decades, has demonstrated that the brain needs support from the immune system for its life-long functional plasticity and repair. Furthermore, using immunological and immunogenomic tools, we demonstrated that in AD, the immune system dysfunctions and perpetuates the pathology. Based on these observations and numerous others, we proposed that boosting the systemic immune system might facilitate mobilization of immune cells to help the brain. We found that the optimal way to activate such a reparative immune response is by reducing the restraints on the immune system, by blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitory immune checkpoint pathway. This therapy facilitates translocation of phagocytic cells to the brain; based on their transcriptomic profile, we demonstrated that these cells express molecules that can uniquely remove the toxic forms of misfolded proteins plaques, dead cells, and cell debris, and can thereby rescue synapses, change the disease course and improve brain function. Overall, our results indicate that targeting systemic and local immune cells rather than brain-specific disease-escalating factors provides a multi-dimensional disease-modifying therapy for AD and dementia, regardless of the primary disease etiology. Our approach is under an expedited development process towards clinical trial.

High-dimensional geometry of visual cortex

Lecture
Date:
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Hour: 16:00
Location:
Dr. Carsen Stringer
|
Janelia Research Campus

Interpreting high-dimensional datasets requires new computational and analytical methods. We developed such methods to extract and analyze neural activity from 20,000 neurons recorded simultaneously in awake, behaving mice. The neural activity was not low-dimensional as commonly thought, but instead was high-dimensional and obeyed a power-law scaling across its eigenvalues. We developed a theory that proposes that neural responses to external stimuli maximize information capacity while maintaining a smooth neural code. We then observed power-law eigenvalue scaling in many real-world datasets, and therefore developed a nonlinear manifold embedding algorithm called Rastermap that can capture such high-dimensional structure.

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Neurodegenerative diseases, stem cells and inflammation-new prospects for therapy

Conference
Date:
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Hour:
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium

Metabolism and the Metabolic Disorder

Conference
Date:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Hour:
Location:
Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Building for Biomedical Research

Homepage

The enigma of inflammation in A.L.S: What can be learned from other

Conference
Date:
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hour:
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium

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Measuring Behavior and Physiology: Bridging the Genotype Phenotype Gap

Conference
Date:
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Hour: 08:00 - 16:30
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium

Homepage

Olfaction: from receptors to behavior

Conference
Date:
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Hour: 08:00 - 16:30
Location:
Dolfi and Lola Ebner Auditorium

Homepage

A Conference on Neurodegenerative Diseases in Memory of Late Prof. Irith Ginzburg (1943-2008)

Conference
Date:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Hour:
Location:

Homepage

Second Nachmansohn Memorial Symposium: Molecular Approaches to the Nervous System

Conference
Date:
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Hour:
Location:

Homepage

Minerva-Weizmann Workshop on Active Sensing in Touch Vision and Smell

Conference
Date:
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Hour:
Location:

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Benoziyo Center for Neurological Diseases - Fourth Annual Symposium

Conference
Date:
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Hour:
Location:

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Benoziyo Center for Neurological Diseases-Third Annual Symposium

Conference
Date:
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Hour:
Location:

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