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Neuroscience Seminar: Mark Ansorge, Ph.D., Columbia University

Monoaminergic circuit mechanisms mediating developmental malleability of emotional and cognitive function


Mark Ansorge, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology
Columbia University
New York, NY


We have identified two sensitive developmental periods during which the strength of monoaminergic signaling affects adult behavior: (1) an early postnatal serotonin-sensitive period that impacts cognition, anxiety and depression-related behaviors, and (2) a later peri-adolescent dopamine- and serotonin-sensitive period affecting aggression, impulsivity and behavioral response to psychostimulants. Our findings indicate that neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by alterations in these behavioral domains may have developmental origins. Thus, genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors that impact serotonin and/or dopamine signaling during specific periods of development might mediate the risk for depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and substance abuse. Which neural circuits are sensitive to monoaminergic signaling during restricted developmental periods? What functional circuit parameters are affected? How do changes in circuit function relate to behavior? These questions currently guide most projects in the lab. While providing a general conceptual overview relating most projects in the lab, the talk will largely focus on two monoaminergic pathways, the median raphe to CA1 pathway and the ventral tegmental are to lateral septum pathway, and their roles in memory formation and aggression, respectively.

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May 23, 2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
ASRC 1st Floor Seminar Room
85 St. Nicholas Terrace
New York, NY 10031 United States
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