images Spring 2010 Neuroscience Seminars

Spring 2011 Seminar Series in Neuroscience

Location of Seminars: Muenzinger E214 (See map and directions)

Tuesday Feb 1, 4-5 pm

Dr. Ron Duman, Professor and Director, Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Division of Molecular Psychiatry and Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities, Yale University


Tuesday Feb 15, 4-5 pm Dr. Yuko Munakata, Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado at Boulder

TITLE: "Inhibition Is Out of Control"

Abstract: The inhibition of thoughts and action figures centrally in daily life. Inhibition is thought to be an effortful, targeted, executive function that taps specialized neural mechanisms and relies upon the integrity of prefrontal cortical regions. Inhibitory processes have thus been invoked to explain developments in cognitive control in children, patterns of prefrontal activity during putatively inhibitory tasks, and the function of inhibitory neurons. Here, we present an alternative perspective, that inhibition is an effortless, diffuse by-product of the active maintenance capacities of the prefrontal cortex. We test competing predictions from active-maintenance and standard inhibitory accounts in the domains of task-switching, computational models, studies with children, links to psychopathology, and fMRI, ERP, pupilometric, and neuropharmacological methods — supports active-maintenance accounts of inhibition and prefrontal function.
Tuesday Mar 1, 4-5 pm

Dr. Jeffrey Kleim, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Research Health Scientist, VA Brain Rehabilitation Research Center College of Medicine

TITLE: “Neural Plasticity: Foundation for Neurorehabilition

Abstract: Historically, basic science has had very little impact on clinical practice in stroke rehabilitation. However, recent advances in our basic understanding of the neural and behavioral signals driving plasticity have the potential to impact clinical practice. There is now a wealth of data demonstrating the specific behavioral, neurophysiological and molecular signals that drive both plasticity in the intact CNS during normal learning and in the injured CNS during "relearning". Novel rehabilitation intervention are being developed that are based on principles of neural plasticity and incorporate adjuvant therapies know to promote neural plasticity and concomitant functional improvement after stroke. Evidence for the efficacy of cortical stimulation and pharmacological upregulation of several plasticity promoting cell signaling pathways that enhance cortical plasticity and motor improvement after stroke will be presented.

Tuesday, Mar 15, 4-5 pm

Dr. Ryan Bachtell, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado at Boulder

TITLE: “Adenosine Signaling in Cocaine Addiction

Abstract: To Be Announced

Tuesday April 5, 4-5 pm Dr. Eric Nestler, Professor and Chair, Departments of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Psychiatry, Director, Friedman Brain Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

TITLE: Transcriptional and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Addiction

Abstract: Eric Nestler will discuss the role played by changes in gene expression, and related changes in chromatin remodeling, in the brain's reward circuit in mediating the long-lasting alterations induced by chronic exposure to drugs of abuse that underlie aspects of drug addiction. Particular attention will be given to two transcription factors of interest, CREB and AFosB, and to their numerous target genes and downstream functional consequences, as important mediators of drug addiction.

Tuesday April 19, 4-5 pm

Dr. Paul Gold, Professor, Departments of Psychology, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Psychiatry, and Bioengineering, the Neuroscience Program, and the Institute for Genomic Biology, Associate Dean, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

TITLE: Making Memories Metabolic

Abstract: Old animals forget new experiences more rapidly than do young animals. This presentation will describe evidence that these age-related changes in memory may reflect a primary dysfunction not of the brain but of the liver, specifically release of glucose stores in response to arousal. In the absence of increases in blood glucose during training, the brain is depleted of its primary source of energy metabolism and therefore 'underperforms'. Brain energy produced from glucose appears to rely on storage of glycogen in astrocytes with breakdown and provision of lactate to neurons. The breakdown of astrocytic glycogen to lactate appears to play a key role in regulating memory formation.