Presentation Title

Characterizing the role of neuropeptides and their receptors in C. elegans to examine sensory behavior and decision-making

Faculty Mentor

Gareth Harris

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

Location

27

Session

poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

An environment is often represented by numerous sensory cues. For example, an area containing food can produce both attractive and repulsive cues, which stimulate specific modality pathways and therefore allow an organism to simultaneously integrate a multitude of information to coordinate decision-making behavior. Because this integration generates a more accurate evaluation of the environment, it provides important adaptive values. Multi-sensory behavior is widely observed in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. One common characteristic of multi-sensory behavioral responses and decision-making processes is their ability to be modulated by various internal states and contexts, including arousal, sleepiness versus wakefulness, and the motivational or nutritional state of the organism. Neurological disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia share deficits associated with sensory processing or decision-making when encountering multiple sensory stimuli. Despite the appreciation of organisms being able to sense multiple cues simultaneously to coordinate behavior, the understanding of the genes and neural networks that drive these complex behaviors are not understood. We investigate the role of neuropeptides and their receptors, which act as key signals in the human brain and shape sensory behavior and decision-making.

Our lab uses the invertebrate worm model system, C. elegans to examine a multisensory behavior where worms are exposed to attractive food cues and repulsive cues (2-nonanone). This behavioral assay examines food leaving during exposure to 2-nonanone, known as the “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving assay.” Specifically, the role of neuropeptide/neuropeptide receptor signaling in regulating “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving” is examined and we have identified at least 1 neuropeptide receptor, “npr-25” that may be important in this behavior. This study will aim to provide further understanding into how neuropeptide signaling and their respective receptors shape an organism’s sensory behavior and hopefully insight into how neuropeptide receptors modulates sensory-dependent decision-making in humans.

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Nov 23rd, 8:00 AM Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM

Characterizing the role of neuropeptides and their receptors in C. elegans to examine sensory behavior and decision-making

27

An environment is often represented by numerous sensory cues. For example, an area containing food can produce both attractive and repulsive cues, which stimulate specific modality pathways and therefore allow an organism to simultaneously integrate a multitude of information to coordinate decision-making behavior. Because this integration generates a more accurate evaluation of the environment, it provides important adaptive values. Multi-sensory behavior is widely observed in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. One common characteristic of multi-sensory behavioral responses and decision-making processes is their ability to be modulated by various internal states and contexts, including arousal, sleepiness versus wakefulness, and the motivational or nutritional state of the organism. Neurological disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia share deficits associated with sensory processing or decision-making when encountering multiple sensory stimuli. Despite the appreciation of organisms being able to sense multiple cues simultaneously to coordinate behavior, the understanding of the genes and neural networks that drive these complex behaviors are not understood. We investigate the role of neuropeptides and their receptors, which act as key signals in the human brain and shape sensory behavior and decision-making.

Our lab uses the invertebrate worm model system, C. elegans to examine a multisensory behavior where worms are exposed to attractive food cues and repulsive cues (2-nonanone). This behavioral assay examines food leaving during exposure to 2-nonanone, known as the “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving assay.” Specifically, the role of neuropeptide/neuropeptide receptor signaling in regulating “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving” is examined and we have identified at least 1 neuropeptide receptor, “npr-25” that may be important in this behavior. This study will aim to provide further understanding into how neuropeptide signaling and their respective receptors shape an organism’s sensory behavior and hopefully insight into how neuropeptide receptors modulates sensory-dependent decision-making in humans.