Symposium — Tuesday, April 25, 2017 — 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM — , Room W196C
Neural Control and Autonomic Regulation Section — Chair: Kamal Rahmouni — Co-Chair: Annette De Kloet
Manipulating the activity of a specific population of neurons, in select brain regions, to control behavioral or physiological processes has been of tremendous interest in systems neuroscience. However, technically this was very difficult until the recent development of new technologies, particularly chemogenetics and optogenetics, allowing modulation of neuronal networks and/or groups of neurons with unprecedented specificity. The introduction of these new technologies is transforming the field of neuroscience. For the first time it is now possible to remotely trigger or silence neuronal activity in molecularly defined populations of neurons with millisecond precision. In principle, this enables fundamental experiments that probe the causal role of specific neurons in controlling circuit architecture, activity information and function with extraordinary power and precision. This has opened up tremendous possibilities for understanding how the nervous system operate at the biochemical and cellular levels to control of physiological processes. The symposium is designed to highlight new knowledge gained in recent years through the use of these powerful technologies (chemogenetics and optogenetics). The speakers will also discuss the fundamental discoveries regarding the neural regulation of many physiological functions including metabolism, autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular system that these technologies made possible.