Presentation Title

Characterizing the role of neuropeptides in a multisensory behavior

Faculty Mentor

Gareth Harris

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 19

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Humans are capable of responding to an array of sensory cues to allow coordinated behavior to occur, completion of daily tasks, and in many organisms, are ultimately essential for survival.

Despite the appreciation of organisms having the ability to sense many cues that shape the decision-making behavior and overall behavioral choices. The cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that mediate these behaviors are still not understood. We investigate the role of an additional type of communication in the nervous system, mediated through “neuropeptides”. Neuropeptides have been previously implicated in a variety of behaviors and are shown to be expressed in key areas of the mammalian brain required for sensation, neural processing of sensory information and other critical brain regions associated with performing behavior and overall affecting the state of the brain. A small roundworm, C.elegans contain around 100 genes that are predicted to produce these neuropeptides. We examine mutants available that lack specific functions of neuropeptide signaling pathways in a multi-sensory behavioral assay, known as, “nonanone-dependent food leaving”. In this assay, worms are assessed for their food leaving during exposure to dangerous odor cues. We will determine if any of the worms neuropeptide genes mediate this multi-sensory behavior through genetic manipulation of the worms nervous system. Identification of any role for neuropeptides in these sensory-dependent decision making behaviors may allow us to provide future insight into how neuropeptides shape our sensory responses and choices we make every day when encountering multiple stimuli of varying modalities.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

Characterizing the role of neuropeptides in a multisensory behavior

CREVELING 19

Humans are capable of responding to an array of sensory cues to allow coordinated behavior to occur, completion of daily tasks, and in many organisms, are ultimately essential for survival.

Despite the appreciation of organisms having the ability to sense many cues that shape the decision-making behavior and overall behavioral choices. The cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that mediate these behaviors are still not understood. We investigate the role of an additional type of communication in the nervous system, mediated through “neuropeptides”. Neuropeptides have been previously implicated in a variety of behaviors and are shown to be expressed in key areas of the mammalian brain required for sensation, neural processing of sensory information and other critical brain regions associated with performing behavior and overall affecting the state of the brain. A small roundworm, C.elegans contain around 100 genes that are predicted to produce these neuropeptides. We examine mutants available that lack specific functions of neuropeptide signaling pathways in a multi-sensory behavioral assay, known as, “nonanone-dependent food leaving”. In this assay, worms are assessed for their food leaving during exposure to dangerous odor cues. We will determine if any of the worms neuropeptide genes mediate this multi-sensory behavior through genetic manipulation of the worms nervous system. Identification of any role for neuropeptides in these sensory-dependent decision making behaviors may allow us to provide future insight into how neuropeptides shape our sensory responses and choices we make every day when encountering multiple stimuli of varying modalities.