Event Details

Tuesday, 31 January 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
QBI Level 7 Auditorium
UQ Location:
Queensland Brain Institute (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Deirdre Wilson
334 66300
Org. Unit:
Queensland Brain Institute

Event Description

Full Description:
Dr Zhaoyu Li
Research Investigator, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Title: Synaptic and circuit mechanisms of sensorimotor integration in C. elegans

Abstract: How the nervous system encodes behaviors is a central question in neuroscience. Despite the incredible repertoire of activities performed by the brain, the fundamental units are synaptic connections between neurons in circuits. However, due to the huge numbers of neurons and synapses in the brain (e.g., ~100 billion neurons and ~100 trillion synapses in the human brain), it is a considerable challenge to elucidate the specific mechanisms by which neural circuits process sensory information to generate motor output. As the only multicellular organism with a completely mapped connectome, C. elegans provides the ideal platform to study basic principles underlying neural network computation and sensorimotor integration. By employing multidisciplinary approaches, including targeted optogenetics, in vivo calcium imaging, quantitative behavioral analysis, molecular genetics and behavioral genetics, I identified distinct circuit motifs involved in sensorimotor integration. I found one first layer interneuron that is primarily downstream of chemosensory neurons, recruits a divergent circuit to encode multiple motor outputs. In addition, I found multiple interneurons coordinate to fine tune a motor circuit activity and encode an adaptive motor behavior. My research elucidates the synaptic and circuit mechanisms of how the nervous system processes sensorimotor information and highlights how the model organism C. elegans can be used to answer fundamental questions in neuroscience.

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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