What have we Learned about Aging and Dementia from Mouse Models?
Date: July 16th, 2018
Location: SOS 104
The study of age-related neurobehavioural changes in genetically modified mice is important to understand the basic behavioural changes associated with aging; the neural and genetic mechanisms underlying these changes; and to develop new treatments for age-related disorders. The DBA/2J mouse develops age-related glaucoma and is functionally blind by 12 months of age. We examined three mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and are finding that these mice have age-related visual and motor control problems as well as cognitive decline. Our goals are to dissociate the sensory and motor deficits from deficits in cognitive function and to examine sex and strain differences in the development of age-related disorders. Data will be presented on age-related behavioural deficits in the APPswe/PS1de9, 3X-Tg and 5X FAD mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. The development of new drugs depends on a complete knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying diseases of aging and the goal of our research is to uncover these mechanisms.
How should we train students for the future of Psychology and Neuroscience? (Roundtable Discussion)
Date: July 17th, 2018
Location: MED 176
This presentation examines the multi-disciplinary nature of neuroscience and how we should train students for the future. A first-year student today will retire in 2065, and se we should be training them so that they can excel in teaching and researching in neuroscience for the next 45 years. What skills will be necessary and how do we teach these skills to our students? This presentation examines the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience, the courses that should be taught, research skills and the integration of scientific, cultural and historical knowledge. The important message is that we need to train students to function in a world of continuous change.
The importance of Behavioural Bioassays in Neuroscience.
Date: July 18th, 2018
Location: SOS 104
The behavioural bioassay is fundamental to research in behavioural neuroscience. A described by Tinbergen, behaviour is measured to answer questions about development, mechanisms, adaptation and evolution. Chemical assays, bioassays, and behavioural bioassays have been developed for detecting and quantifying substances such as neurotransmitters, hormones, and toxins and for measuring behaviour. This talk begins with an overview of these methods and then focuses on how behavioural bioassays are developed. Ethograms and qualitative descriptions of behaviour units are discussed. Sampling and recording rules are then considered, along with quantitative descriptions of the behaviours being observed. The talk concludes with examples of behavioural bioassays used for detecting various internal and external stimuli, along with considerations such as the complexity of the stimuli and the problem of measuring “psychological” states such as anxiety, from behaviour. Suggestions are made for improving the validity and reliability of behavioural bioassays in neuroscience.
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