From body to brain: control of autonomic physiology by the sensory vagus nerve Rui Chang, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Biology
Harvard Medical School Seminar abstract: Cardiac, respiratory, and other autonomic functions are precisely controlled by the nervous system, yet many autonomic reflexes remain poorly characterized at a molecular and cellular level. The sensory vagus nerve is a major conduit between body and brain, and is critical for many autonomic physiology. Using a genetic approach, we molecularly deconstructed the vagus nerve, and successfully identified neuron populations that are critically involved in respiratory physiology and digestive functions. We further elucidated the molecular mechanism for lung inflation-mediated apnea. Together, these findings lay the groundwork for a molecular dissection of respiratory and gastrointestinal physiology.
Mechanisms underlying flexible information flow across the brain Karel Svoboda, Ph.D. Director, Allen Institute: Abstract: Neural computation and behavior are produced by shifting configurations of multi-regional neural networks, implemented by dynamic coupling between brain regions. We...