NE101 Lecture Notes

Same practical and technical advantages as rodents to

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Same practical and technical advantages as rodents (to even greater degree) Three disadvantages: very small much less closely related to humans (harder to translate results due to less homology w/ humans) much simpler nervous system (could be plus or minus depending on question) Primate models (e.g. Rhesus macaque) Much less practical: Transgenics is just being perfected more expensive, slower growing more difficult ethical questions Very closely related to humans – have the most homologous behaviors and neurobiology Animal Models of Neurological Diseases/disorders Animal models are often imperfect representations of the human disorder Example) Mice don't naturally get Alzheimer's diseases ...however, can be transgenically engineered to express human proteins that cause Alzheimer's-like symptoms in mice. Neuroethology: is one approach to the study of the neural basis of behavior that emphasizes the study of natural behavior Often based initially on behavioral studies/observations done in the field Focuses on behaviors that are critical for animals' survival (finding food and mates, avoiding predators, navigating etc.) Diverse model systems Case study: Reflex Circuits in Tritona We have a complete neural circuit–to–behavior understanding of how this behavior is produced Sensory neurons: detect stimuli Gating interneurons Command neuron : critical neuron in the network – when activated, turns on pattern generator Central pattern generator (CPG): contained neural network that produces rhythmic motor output Efferent neurons: activate muscles Tritonia predator avoidance involves a locomotory reflex and propels the animal away from sea stars. Sensory neurons detect aversive stimuli Sensory information is received and integrated by a command neuron. Command neuron firing activates the central pattern generator CPG activity excites neurons eliciting dorsal and ventral muscle contractions which produce muscle behavior Case study: Neuroethology of Spatial Memory Goal: contrast this case study with what you have already learned about the study of learning and memory in rodents. Classic neuroethological system for studying spatial memory is birds that store food for later retrieval Ethology of seed-caching in Clark's Nutcracker 1-14 seeds per cache
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stored in sublingual pouch before caching 2-3 cm deep, ca. 30 s per cache, not marked > 80% recovery rate over winter months recover through snow or after leaves have fallen up to > 7,000 caches (ca. 22K – 33K individual seeds) Caching birds have bigger hippocampi Hippocampi grow in size when caching behavior increase in the fall Between-species comparisons high vs. low food caching birds brood parasitic vs. non-brood parasitic birds monogynous vs. polygynous mates Within-species comparisons summer vs. fall chickadees harsh vs. mild climate chickadees Populations in harsh climates hoard more and have larger hippocampi Experimental methods
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Same practical and technical advantages as rodents to even...

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