NRSN Summer School in Neuroscience 2016: Neural Circuits and Behavior

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1 NRSN Summer School in Neuroscience 2016: Neural Circuits and Behavior Kavli Institute of Systems Neuroscience, NTNU, Trondheim August 2016 Summary: Understanding the brain or the theory of mind has been one of the biggest frontiers of humanity. An amazing amount of progress was made over the last 50 years in studying the function, the anatomy, the chemistry and the connectivity of brain circuits from single neuron level to complete neural systems. It is yet still fascinating to observe the complexity of the neural circuits with many emerging properties that is not always easy to predict from the properties of individual neurons. To link the activity of millions of individual neurons to animal behavior that is dynamically modulated by internal states and the sensory world is still one of the greatest challenge of today s neuroscience, which is quickly becoming a multidisciplinary endeavor combining approaches of life sciences with the tools of physics, mathematics and engineering. Our goal is to bring together a wide range of experts using diverse approaches from electrical and optical measurements of brain activity to molecular, anatomical, behavioral and computational tools to study the function of brain circuits. We aim to show students the application of these wide ranges of techniques in a range of model animals from rodents to zebrafish and in silico. We will also discuss about the advantages of these techniques, their potential pitfalls and how they can be synergistically combined. In addition to lectures, research talks and journal club sessions, the course will provide practical experience through demos and hands on training. Moreover will have group discussions and students presentations for combining the theoretical and the practical parts of the course. These daily discussion will also continue during networking session in the evenings, in order to facilitate broad interactions of students with scientist at different levels. We hope that such interactions will seed future collaborations between the course attendants. We expect every participant to prepare well before the course, using the reading materials that we will distribute in advance. We also expect full commitment of the participating students for the entire duration of the course. The participants should be prepared for hard work, long hours and for sharing the joy of neuroscience.

2 Target student profile: The summer school is intended for PhD candidates in neuroscience, and the program is suitable for candidates with a variety of educational backgrounds and research specializations: neuroscience, engineering, life sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, physics. Priority will be given to members of NRSN. Other participants may be accepted if there are still places available. Organizers and lecturers: The summer school will be organized by Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU, with support from the Norwegian Research School in Neuroscience (NRSN). Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, NTNU - lecturers/instructors: Benjamin Dunn, Nathalie Jurisch, Florence Kermen, Bjarte Bye Løfaldli, Clifford Kentros, Edvard Moser, Yasser Roudi, Jonathan Whitlock, Menno Witter (organizer), Emre Yaksi (organizer). Special guest lecturers: Alessandro Treves, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Italy Panayiota Poirazi, Computational Biology Lab, IMBB-FORTH, Heraklion, Greece Practicalities: Arrival: Sunday August 21, 2016, by 18:00, Departure: Sunday August 28, 2016 Location: Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, NTNU, Trondheim Number of students: Max. 20 Credits: The Faculty of Medicine at NTNU recommends that participation in the summer school is accredited with 2.5 ECTS credits. Participants must apply to their respective universities in order to have the course formally approved as part of their PhD education. Examination: Details will be announced later. Course fee: Participation is free for NRSN members Registration: Register here. Deadline: 1 April 2016 Travel and accommodation: Participants from outside Trondheim must book their own travel and accommodation. Please do not book until you have a confirmed place in the summer school. Participants who are not NRSN members must cover their own expenses. NRSN will reimburse the costs after the event for the members of the research school. The travel reimbursement is limited to 2000 NOK for the round trip, including public transportation (not taxi or private car) to and from the airport. The organizers have reserved rooms for the period of August 2016 at Comfort Hotel Park, Trondheim (960 NOK/pers/night). These rooms are available for your reservation until 1 July To reserve a room please contact the hotel at or and give the reservation code The hotel will charge NRSN directly. If you choose to stay at a different hotel, you will be charged for the hotel costs upon departure and NRSN will reimburse you after the event, up to the amount of 960 NOK per day. Meals: Lunch will be served daily. The program includes 4 organized dinners and socials events.

3 Course overview Day Topic lecturers/instructors 21 st August Start: 18:00 Arrival, welcome, students and faculty members present themselves, dinner and social event 22 nd August Measuring and analyzing extracellular spiking activity in rodent brain. Module 1 23 rd August Measuring and analyzing neural activity in rodent brain. Module 1 24 th August Studying anatomical and functional connectivity of rodent brain: molecular techniques, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Module 2 25 th August Studying anatomical and functional connectivity of rodent brain: molecular techniques, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy. Module 2 26 th August Functional brain imaging of multi neural activity and quantifying animal behavior in vertebrates (rodents and zebrafish). Module 3 27 th August Functional brain imaging of multi neural activity and quantifying animal behavior in vertebrates (rodents and zebrafish). Module 3 Moser, Løfaldli, Roudi, Løfaldli, Roudi, Treves Witter, Kentros Witter, Kentros Whitlock, Yaksi, Jurisch, Dunn, Kermen Whitlock, Yaksi, Jurisch, Dunn, Kermen Detailed description of course modules: Practical module 1 (August 22-23, Moser&Roudi&Treves): Measuring, perturbing and analyzing activity in rodent brain. In this module, students will work together with experts to record neural activity in rodent hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, while the animal explored a spatial environment. Next animals will be transferred to a second environment in order to investigate how hippocampal or entorhinal cells create distinguishable maps for different environments. In parallel, students will record neural activity in transgenic mice, which express DREADD receptors (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) in defined cell types in Medial Entorhinal Cortex. The students would record activity from cells in the area while the animal explored a spatial environment, before and after activation of the transgenic receptor. They will then use the collected raw data in a computer lab to perform spike sorting, identify single units and their study their response selectivity in representing space. On the next day, using a number of recorded hippocampus place cells and grid cells from the MEC, the students will learn to write their own program, or modify previously written codes (depending on their background), to use this data and predict the position of the animal in an environment. They will learn about simple generalized linear models as well as concepts such as training data set, test data set as and ways to quantify prediction errors. Students will then learn how including interactions between neurons can improve the prediction of the animal s position.

4 Practical module 2 (August 24-25, Witter & Kentros): Measuring anatomical and functional connectivity of neural circuits in vertebrate brain In this module students will gets hands on an example of anatomical tracing, combined with postsynaptic target identification, synapse localization and characterization using a combination of LM, CLSM, EM analysis. Moreover, students will learn to use (3D) atlases to design stereotaxic surgeries and represent experimental data, together with demonstration of a stereotactic surgery. In parallel, students will learn the use of various transgenic and viral technologies in order to perform cell type specific neuroanatomical studies. Using this approach student will learn to use transgenic mouse lines to define primary neurons and identify distinct viral vectors to distinguish between anterograde and retrograde tracing methods, and compare them to classical techniques. One the next day, Students will get hands on experience with in vitro approaches to study local circuits with electrophysiological approaches using voltage sensitive dye imaging, single cell patch clamp recordings using electrical and optical stimulation. Finally, students will be provided example data sets for the experiments described above in order to learn how to analyze such data sets Practical module 3 (August Whitlock & Yaksi): Measuring neural activity and behavior using optical methods In this module, students will get hands on experience in the use of optical methods for imaging brain activity both in rodents and in zebrafish.this set of experiments aims to train students for the basics of optical imaging techniques for measuring brain activity and the instrumentation surrounding the microscope. Students will be divided into 2 groups in order to join experiments with the experts in rotations. In parallel, students will get experience of two-photon calcium imaging experiments in zebrafish brain and fluorescence imaging of brain activity in freely behaving mice using head attached mini-microscopes. These imaging experiments will also be accompanied by video tracking of diverse sets of animal behavior. In the next day students will learn how to be critical and how to analyze both functional imaging and animal behavior data sets. These large and challenging microscopy and video imaging data sets will provide students a good understanding of some of the mathematical tools for image processing and multi variate statistical analysis. Moreover, this module will also provide students basics of building a microscope

5 Daily Schedule: Time Event 9:15 10:15 Lectures: State of the art in neural circuit research 10:15-10:25 Coffee Break 10:25-10:40 Students forms 4 teams and each team identifies 5 questions. There will also be questions by the lecturer. 10:40-11:40 Discussing the questions together with the lecturer 11:40-12:40 Lunch Break 12:40-13:30 Research talks by the lecturers and discussions 13:30-13:45 Break 13:45-18:00 Practical rotations, group work, student presentations 18:00-19:00 Special Lectures 19:00- Dinner, group activities Lectures: The use of molecular techniques in systems neuroscience and neuroanatomy: potentials and pitfalls. (Kentros) Phase transitions in the structure and function of our brain - an evolutionary perspective on our mammalian nature (Treves) Combining anatomy and electrophysiology to study brain circuits (Witter) Methods for imaging brain activity: a comparative approach. (Yaksi) Zebrafish as an animal model for neuroscience (Jurisch-Yaksi) Synaptic Plasticity and Memory (Whitlock) Use of statistical methods to analyze neural data (Roudi) Research talks: The capacity for memory with and without the dentate gyrus (Treves) Transgenic Investigation of the Neural Circuitry of Memory (Kentros) Architecture of the cortico-hippocampal system; a compilation of experimental and comparative neuroanatomy (Witter) Functional connectivity, phase distributions and network models of grid cells (Roudi) Cognitive motor functions of parietal & frontal cortex (Whitlock) Studying neural circuits mediating fear in zebrafish brain (Yaksi) Information coding with dendrites: insights from computational models (Poirazi)

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