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Neurobiology of aggression

開催日 2014/9/11
時間 17:00 - 19:00
会場 Room A(Main Hall)
Chairperson(s) 岡本 仁 / Hitoshi Okamoto (理化学研究所 脳科学総合研究センター / RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan)

Modular genetic and neural control of aggressive behavior

  • S1-A-2-2
  • Nirao Shah:1 
  • 1:Department of Anatomy, Univ. of San Francisco, USA 

We aim to understand the mechanisms via which genes and neural circuits define social behaviors. We are tackling in my lab these mechanisms as they relate to sexually dimorphic displays of sexual and aggressive behaviors in mice. These behaviors are quantifiable, these behaviors can be elicited by natural stimuli without prior training, and the behaviors are regulated by sex hormones. These features have allowed us to make significant inroads into the mechanisms that control these behaviors. We have identified specific chemosensory pathways and hormonal signals that promote aggressive displays in males and in females. Our group is the first to molecularly identify long-sought hypothalamic neurons that control aggression. We recently demonstrated that these neurons control aggression in males and sexual behaviors in both sexes. Ongoing studies in my lab focus on understanding how these neurons control such different social behaviors We will discuss recent advances that show that aggressive behavior is controlled in a modular manner such that different components of this behavior are regulated by specific hormonal signaling events, separable genetic pathways, and distinct neuronal populations. We will also discuss the broader implications of our findings on the general mechanisms whereby neural circuits encode complex social behaviors.

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