Neuroscience Day 2018
Dr. Larry Swanson will be the keynote speaker. The title of the keynote seminar is “New ideas on the organization of neural circuits”. Dr. Swanson is a University Professor and Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences and Psychology in the University of Southern California.
Since graduate school, Dr. Swanson has been interested in clarifying the organization of brain systems that mediate the expression of motivated and emotional behaviors. His experimental research has followed two main paths. First, his group has undertaken a high-resolution structural analysis of central nervous system network architecture. This work has generated a new global model of hypothalamic organization, has clarified the organization and neurotransmitter specificity of brainstem reflex inputs to the hypothalamus, and is currently focusing on a new model of cerebral hemisphere inputs to the hypothalamus that mediate the voluntary control of motivated behaviors common to all animals (ingestive, reproductive, and defensive). Beginning in the early 1980s Swanson’s group has characterized functionally relevant changes in gene expression patterns restricted to neural networks they have identified. Most of this work involves adrenal and gonadal steroid hormone effects on neuropeptide gene expression patterns in circuits controlling ingestive and reproductive behavior, and in circuits controlling stress responses generally. Two interrelated concepts have emerged—the biochemical switching of information flow through anatomically fixed networks, and the polytransmitter hypothesis (at some stage of the life cycle, all neurons use glutamate or GABA, along with a mixture of other neurotransmitters). Because motivated behavior utilizes the entire nervous system, Swanson has also carried out extensive scholarly research on the fundamental plan of the brain. Swanson has produced detailed atlases of developing and adult rat brain architecture, accompanied by a systematic, fully documented taxonomy of parts. They were the first complete computer graphics atlases of the brain, and have been used to develop databases of spatial neuroanatomical information, as well as prototype three-dimensional, vector-based computer graphics models of the brain (from University of Southern California website).
Additional information and links to Dr. Swanson’s research and publications can be found here.
Registration and abstract submission will be open on May 1, 2018.
The deadline of the registration is Thursday, May 17, 2018.