CBS Brain Science Seminar Series(CBSS)
Dr. Sonja Hofer

Dr. Sonja Hofer, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

Date/Time

Wednesday, May 22, 16:30-18:00 (JST)

Abstract

Neural circuits for regulation of fundamental behavioural strategies

To survive in evolving environments with uncertain resources and predation risks, animals need to dynamically adapt their behaviour and exhibit flexibility in choosing appropriate behaviours, such as staying safe from predators, exploring their environment or exploiting known resources. However, the neural mechanisms of how the brain implements and switches between such fundamental behavioural strategies are still unclear. My lab is interested in how the brain integrates different information such as sensory evidence, prior knowledge and context to generate flexible behaviour and reactions to environmental challenges. In the first part of my talk I will describe our work on the ventral lateral genicule nucleus and its neural interaction partners in controlling responses to imminent threat as well as risk-avoidance behaviour in aversive environments more generally. In the second part, I will introduce our most recent studies on how subcortical pathways mediate decisions on other basic behavioural choices such as whether to exploit current or familiar resources, explore other options to acquire new information or disengage altogether, and the role of median raphe nucleus in these processes.

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