Conferences & Symposia
March 27, 2018
PAIS 280, 4:00pm
Effects of Early Life Stress and Diet on Gut Microbiome in Infant Macaques
Early life stress has adverse effects on neurodevelopment, placing individuals at greater risk for developing psychiatric conditions later in life. Although various neurobiological mechanisms have been proposed for how early life stress "gets under the skin", accumulating evidence suggests that the brain-gut-microbiota axis plays an important role in programming neurobehavioral development and is vulnerable to stress. The gut microbiome begins to be colonized early in life and has been shown to be critical for the normative development of the central nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Here we investigated whether early life stress and diet perturb the gut microbiome in infant rhesus macaques. Using neuroimaging data collected from a larger longitudinal project, we also examined whether the gut microbiome influenced the development of corticolimbic circuits sensitive to chronic stress and important for emotion regulation.
Melanie Pincus (Neuroscience, Emory University)
An Ensemble Modeling Approach to Identifying Recruitment Principles in the Sympathetic Nervous System in Mice
Thoracic sympathetic postganglionic neurons (tSPNs), innervated by preganglionic neurons in the spinal cord, are the last common motor output of the sympathetic nervous system, and directly control the vasculature. Dysfunction of tSPNs, such as hyperexcitability, has been observed after spinal cord injury, yet little is known about the building blocks of tSPNs. Combining electrophysiological data with computational modeling, we built a database of physiologically realistic tSPN models, and elucidated several cellular mechanisms that govern the tSPN dynamics. This work lays the foundation to examine the dysfunction and synaptic integration rules of tSPNs.
Kun Tian (Biology, Emory University)
The Role of Epigenetics and Biological Markers in Prosociality
I will present findings on how oxytocin peptide levels and DNA methylation of the oxytocin receptor gene are correlated with personality traits and prosociality in healthy individuals and in patients with Autism.