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Reverse engineering neural control of movement in Hydra

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Thursday, October 22, 2020
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12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Adrienne Fairhall, hosted by Eva Naumann
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Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience Seminar

Adrienne Fairhall, Co-Directorof Univ. of Washington's Computational Neuroscience Center, presents "Reverse engineering neural control of movement in Hydra." Hosted by Eva Aimable Naumann,
Abstract: Hydra is a fascinating model organism for neuroscience. It is transparent; new genetic lines allow one to image activity in both neurons and muscle cells; it exhibits rich behavior, and it continually rebuilds itself. Hydra's fairly simply physical structure as a two-layered fluid-filled hydrostat and the accessibility of information about neural and muscle activity opens the possibility of a complete model of neural control of behavior. This requires understanding the transformations that occur in the muscle cell layers and a biomechanical model of the body column. We show that we can use this modeling to reverse engineer how neural activity drives behavior.