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Aravi Samuel - Whole brain approaches to c. elegans neuroscience

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Whole brain approaches to c. elegans neuroscience


Small animals like nematodes and fruit flies permit whole-brain approaches to measuring the neural dynamics and mapping the circuits that give rise to behavior. Whole-brain activity is mutually contingent on behaviour itself, especially for natural behaviours which require dynamic interaction between the animal, its environment and other animals. Many of the signalling and feedback pathways that animals use to guide behaviour only occur in freely moving animals. Recent technological advances have enabled whole-brain recording during behavior and whole-brain connectomics in Caenorhabditis elegans. I will discuss new experimental opportunities and challenges in this emerging field of systems neuroscience.

Aravinthan Samuel

Harvard University


Aravi Samuel received his PhD in biophysics at Harvard University studying bacterial chemotaxis with Howard C. Berg. In his own lab in the Department of Physics at Harvard, he has pursued biophysical approaches to understanding the behavior of larger animals, C. elegans and Drosophila larvae. We build and use light microscopes to monitor neural activity in these behaving animals and electron microscopes to map their neural circuits with synaptic resolution. We seek models of brain and behavior from sensory input to motor output in these small but accessible organisms.

About the Wu Tsai Neuro MBCT Seminar Series 
The Stanford Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology Seminars (MBCT) explores ways in which computational and technical approaches are being used to advance the frontiers of neuroscience. It features speakers from other institutions, Stanford faculty and senior training program trainees. 

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