University of Connecticut

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Neuroscience Seminar Series - Zhang

Tuesday, May 1, 2018
4:00pm – 5:00pm

UConn Health
Low Learning Center

Sponsored by the Kim Family Fund

"Sensory-motor integration regulates olfactory learning"

Yu Zhang, PhD, Professor, Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

During sensory-guided locomotion, such as chemotactic movement in response to odors, the position and locomotory pattern of an animal are constantly changing. Therefore, sensory-motor integration is critical for the animal to steer the movement towards the goal. However, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the complex activity in a C. elegans interneuron, RIA, integrates the information of odor and locomotory pattern to mediate olfactory chemotaxis. Previously, we have shown that the activity in RIA neurite compartmentalizes in the axonal domains that are localized on the dorsal or ventral side of the animal and represents the dorsal or ventral head bending, respectively, during the sinusoidal body waves on the dorsal-ventral plane. The motor-encoding activity of RIA restricts head bending. We now show that these two activity patterns interact to integrate sensory and motor information, directing odor-guided chemotactic movements. Learning modulates the sensorimotor integration to generate experience-dependent changes in behavioral response. Together, our findings provide mechanistic insights into the neural circuits of learning at all levels from sensory perception to motor execution.

Host: Dr. Zhao-Wen Wang, zwwang@uchc.edu

Contact:

Jody Gridley, gridley@uchc.edu, 860-679-8787

Neuroscience Department at UConn Health (primary), School of Medicine, UConn Health Master Calendar

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