Reverse engineering neural control of movement in Hydra

October 22, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Adrienne Fairhall, hosted by Eva Naumann

Adrienne Fairhall, Co-Directorof Univ. of Washington's Computational Neuroscience Center, presents "Reverse engineering neural control of movement in Hydra." Hosted by Eva Aimable Naumann,
Abstract: Hydra is a fascinating model organism for neuroscience. It is transparent; new genetic lines allow one to image activity in both neurons and muscle cells; it exhibits rich behavior, and it continually rebuilds itself. Hydra's fairly simply physical structure as a two-layered fluid-filled hydrostat and the accessibility of information about neural and muscle activity opens the possibility of a complete model of neural control of behavior. This requires understanding the transformations that occur in the muscle cell layers and a biomechanical model of the body column. We show that we can use this modeling to reverse engineer how neural activity drives behavior.