Neurobiology Seminar Program

Neurobiology sponsors seminars on Tuesdays at noon in 103 Bryan Research. The Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series features both established and up-and-coming researchers and professors from around the world. This program is created by a committee of students, postdocs and faculty. The seminar program guides the materials for a student journal club that reads the upcoming speaker’s papers in advance and meets to discuss the week before the seminar. After the seminar, students and postdocs are invited to have lunch with the speaker.

Upcoming Seminars

Christopher Harvey
New approaches to probe computations in neural circuits using single-neuron perturbations
October 2, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Dr. Harvey will present new worked aimed at identifying computations performed in local neuronal populations. They have developed a method based on two-photon imaging and two-photon optogenetics to measure the causal, functional connectivity in a population of neurons with characterized activity patterns and tuning. We call this method influence mapping - a measure of how one neuron's spiking causally affects spiking in its neighbors. We have applied this method in mouse V1 to reveal new functional relationships between tuned neurons. He will also discuss applications of influence mapping to...
Systems genomics and gene networks in neuro-developmental and neurodegenerative disorders
October 10, 2018 -
10:30am to 11:30am
Advances in genetics and genomics have begun to deliver on their promise to expand our understanding of nervous system function in health and disease. One of the interesting challenges that perhaps paradoxically has emerged from these successes is an understanding of the profound genetic heterogeneity and complexity of most nervous system disorders. For example in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), over a hundred of probable risk loci have been identified, none of which account for more than 1% of cases. This has led to what we consider to be a central question highly relevant to precision...
Adolescence and the maturation of the frontal cortex in mice
October 16, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
The maturation of the frontal cortex occurs over adolescence and is accompanied by dramatic changes in behavior in mammalian species. This period of brain development is often viewed as a late sensitive period for learning and higher cognition and is also a moment of psychiatric vulnerability in humans. Our lab uses mouse models to access the cellular and synaptic aspects of frontal cortex maturation. I will review how cells and synapses and frontal cortex-relevant behaviors change through adolescence in mice and discuss the role of experience and pubertal hormones in these transitions.
Guoping Feng
Dissecting synaptic and circuitry mechanisms of psychiatric disorders
October 23, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Synaptic dysfunction has emerged as a key pathology in several psychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ASD) schizophrenia. Recently, large scale human genetic studies have also revealed a significant overlaps of risk genes for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. However, it is not clear how different mutations of the same gene could contribute to the manifestation of different diseases. Using the postsynaptic scaffolding protein Shank3 as an example, Dr. Feng will discuss: (1) circuitry mechanisms of repetitive behaviors in mouse models of ASD; (2) reversibility of...
Dwight Bergles
Sounds in silence: How glial cells in the ear promote development of the auditory system before hearing onset
October 30, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Spontaneous electrical activity is a prevalent feature of the developing nervous system. This intrinsically generated activity has been implicated in controlling diverse aspects of development, ranging from neuronal survival to synaptic refinement. In the auditory system, bursts of activity are initiated in the cochlea when ATP is released by glia-like supporting cells located adjacent to inner hair cells. In this lecture, I will describe how these supporting cells use a pathway that controls fluid secretion in other organs to induce excitation of hair cells, show using in vivo imaging from...
Dan O'Connor
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
November 13, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
How do brain dynamics give rise to sensory experience? We work to understand how sensory-motor neural circuits allow us to perceive, interact with, and learn about the world, with a focus on the sense of touch. Our laboratory approaches this by measuring and manipulating neural circuit dynamics during behavior. We work in the mouse tactile system to capitalize on an accessible mammalian circuit with a precise mapping between the sensory periphery and multiple brain areas. We apply methods of in vivo intracellular and extracellular electrophysiology, in vivo two-photon calcium imaging,...
Lisa Stowers
Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series
December 11, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Our lab is studying how cues in the environment are detected and transformed into electrical activity in the brain to generate behavior.