Cornelius Gross, Deputy Head of the Outstation on Epigenetic and Neurobiology Unit, Senior Scientist, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Roma, Monterotondo - Italy: “Primal fear – the neural circuitry of instinctive defense”
Thursday 28 March 2019 (12h15 - 13h15) - Bugnon 9 - Petit Auditoire
Invité par Claudia.Bagni@unil.ch & Jean-Pierre.Hornung@unil.ch
Abstract: The expression of instinctive behaviors related to ingestion, reproduction, and defense depend on evolutionarily ancient behavioral circuits located in the hypothalamus. It has been proposed that neural activity in these hypothalamic circuits encodes an internal motivational state that is essential for the expression of instinctive behavior and may be related to the emotion that accompanies instinctive urges in humans. However, the precise brain nuclei and circuit logic that support instinctive physiological and behavioral responses remain poorly defined. Moreover, although instinctive behaviors are innate, animals are to some degree able of control them to adapt their behaviors to the environment. Current work in the lab combines molecular genetic, electrophysiological, and genetically encoded neural manipulation tools with behavioral methods to understand how the medial hypothalamus controls defensive responses to social and predator threats and how these can be remodeled by experience.