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Marco Stucchi: Flexible timing of aversive response in Drosophila olfactory conditioning

IMPRS for Organismal Biology, University of Konstanz and Bernstein Center Freiburg [PhD Seminar]
When Nov 23, 2021
from 05:15 PM to 05:45 PM
Where Zoom Lecture. Meeting ID and password will be sent with the invitation. You can also ask Fiona Siegfried for the access data.
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Contact Phone 0761 203 9549
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 In a dynamic environment, animals can benefit greatly from the ability to learn the timing of external events, in order to precisely initiate their behavioral responses. From a computational perspective, timing information of external stimuli can be encoded in the high-dimensional transient activity of a recurrent neural network (reservoir computing).

To assess whether animals might adopt a similar strategy, I took advantage of aversive olfactory conditioning in Drosophila. After pairing an odor with an electric shock presented at different times during odor stimulus, the timing of the aversive behavioral response to the odor correlates with the timing of the electric shock during training, suggesting that flies are capable of learning about the timing of the aversive reinforcement.

Imaging of projection neurons of the antennal lobe and of a mushroom body output neuron involved in short-term olfactory learning provide evidence that the neural representation of the odor is not static, endowing the system with the ability to encode timing information.

Finally, I will propose a biologically inspired model of the mushroom bodies that captures the essential features of the hypothesized learning mechanism


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Hosted by Stefan Rotter

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