Karen Zito

Institute:Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, USA
Title:Sculpting the nervous system: Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural circuit refinement
Location:H.R.Kruytgebouw O128
Abstract:["One of the most remarkable properties of the brain is its ability to undergo adaptive modifications in response to changing environments. This property, known as experience-dependent plasticity, is essential not only for the fine-tuning of developing circuits, but also for behavioral changes, such as learning and memory, in adults. Over the past two decades, advances in fluorescent labeling and imaging techniques have enabled direct visualization of the structural and functional reorganization of neuronal circuits during experience-dependent circuit plasticity. Dendritic spines have been a major focus of these studies; the gain or loss of spines is associated with the establishment or elimination of neural circuit connections, and the enlargement or shrinkage of spines accompanies an increase or decrease in the strength of synaptic connections. I will present the results of our efforts to define the neural activity patterns and downstream signaling mechanisms that drive the structural and functional modifications of dendritic spines during experience-dependent plasticity."]
Host:Dennis Kruijssen (Cell Biology)