Presentation Title

Screening the effects of brain targeting compounds on sensory behavior and decision-making in C. elegans

Faculty Mentor

Gareth Harris

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 13

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Neuro-pharmacological agents and their actions have been an intensive area of research in relation to treatment of neurological disorders and understanding human behavior. Both medically relevant and recreationally used chemical compounds have profound short-term and long-term effects on influencing the mechanisms of the mammalian brain, and therefore exert significant changes in behavioral responses to various stimuli. Despite the use of multiple therapeutics for targeting neurological mechanisms involved in behavioral control and behavioral responses associated with sensation, information processing, and decision-making, the understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes and the targets of pharmacological agents are still not clear. We use the invertebrate nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate the effects of these various classes of drugs (including antipsychotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, and addictive compounds) on a multi-sensory behavior. This behavior assesses a worm’s ability to sense and process dangerous cues that promote food leaving. This behavioral paradigm provides a platform to investigate the neural circuits further and examine the effects of nervous system targeting pharmacological agents. We hope to use this behavioral assay to: 1) identify effects from the pharmacological application on this multi-sensory-dependent decision-making behavior, and, 2) identify potential targets in the nervous system for these neurological compounds. C. elegans share significant conservation with mammalian systems through their genome. This is beneficial because the C. elegans neuron connectivity has already been mapped, and mutants for most neuronally expressed genes are available. This provides an avenue to identify effects of mammalian neurological compounds on cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that control decision-making behavior.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

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

Screening the effects of brain targeting compounds on sensory behavior and decision-making in C. elegans

CREVELING 13

Neuro-pharmacological agents and their actions have been an intensive area of research in relation to treatment of neurological disorders and understanding human behavior. Both medically relevant and recreationally used chemical compounds have profound short-term and long-term effects on influencing the mechanisms of the mammalian brain, and therefore exert significant changes in behavioral responses to various stimuli. Despite the use of multiple therapeutics for targeting neurological mechanisms involved in behavioral control and behavioral responses associated with sensation, information processing, and decision-making, the understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes and the targets of pharmacological agents are still not clear. We use the invertebrate nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate the effects of these various classes of drugs (including antipsychotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, and addictive compounds) on a multi-sensory behavior. This behavior assesses a worm’s ability to sense and process dangerous cues that promote food leaving. This behavioral paradigm provides a platform to investigate the neural circuits further and examine the effects of nervous system targeting pharmacological agents. We hope to use this behavioral assay to: 1) identify effects from the pharmacological application on this multi-sensory-dependent decision-making behavior, and, 2) identify potential targets in the nervous system for these neurological compounds. C. elegans share significant conservation with mammalian systems through their genome. This is beneficial because the C. elegans neuron connectivity has already been mapped, and mutants for most neuronally expressed genes are available. This provides an avenue to identify effects of mammalian neurological compounds on cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that control decision-making behavior.