Tue. 5/28 Seminar at 1pm by Raviv Pryluk

Raviv Pryluk (Weizmann Institute of Science), Room 926HN, 1-2pm

A Tradeoff in the Neural Code Across Regions and Species

In the first part of the talk I'll discuss how there exists a tradeoff in the neural code where human neurons utilize information capacity (efficiency) better than macaque neurons, and cingulate cortex neurons are more efficient than amygdala neurons in both species. On the other hand, amygdala human and monkey neurons show more synchrony and vocabulary overlap (robustness). In the second part of the talk I'll present our new data showing that there exists a shared neural code for eye-gaze and valence information in the primate amygdala.

Wed. 5/22 Biology Seminar, 1:15 pm - Meghan Lockhard

Meghan Lockard (Rockefeller University): “La Dolce Verma: Oxytocin, Dopamine, and their Role as Comodulators in Nematode Nooky”, 1:15 -2:15 pm, Rm. 926HN

Oxytocin has been known to the biomedical community for 150 years as being a regulator of complex reproductive behavior and physiological processes in mammals and other vertebrates, but evolutionary the neuropeptide emerged in metazoans about 700 million years ago, around the same time as bilateral symmetry. In every instance where it has been studied, from nematodes to humans, oxytocin homologs have been shown to play a role in mate search, mating, and/or provisioning of offspring. What is the basis for this genetic and functional conservation?  To address this, I looked at the functional role of oxytocin in modulating the mating circuit of the nematode C. elegans. Like its mammalian homolog, nematocin comodulates mating behavior with the nonclassical neurotrasmitter dopamine. Through genetics, neuronal imaging, and circuit manipulation, I show how the timing and levels of nematocin release are critical for the male to mate with coherence and momentum. Dopamine couples this release with specific stimuli from mating via the antagonism between a D1-like and a D2-like receptor expressed in the same nematocin releasing neuron, DVA.  The circuit serves as a model for how a simple, highly conserved repertoire of neuromodulators could generate some of nature's richest and most complex behaviors.

5/13 Biology Seminar 12pm - Mitchell Goldfarb

Looking forward to our own Mitch Goldfarb (Hunter College) share his recent work at the Biology Seminar, 12pm, Rm. 926HN

“FHF Modulation of Sodium Channel Inactivation Gating in Cardiac and Nerve Conduction: Empirical and Computational Findings”.