RESEARCH SEMINAR
Friday October 12th 2018, 1:00pm
ASSEMBLING TRIDIMENSIONAL BRAIN MODELS TO STUDY HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND DISEASE
Progress in dissecting the molecular programs underlying human brain development and in understanding neuropsychiatric disorders has been remarkably slow. This is partly due to lack of access to functioning human brain tissue, translating findings in rodent models and unavailability of functionally relevant in vitro models. In my talk, I will describe efforts in my laboratory to derive 3D brain region-specific cultures starting from human pluripotent stem cells. Specifically, I will show how to derive 3D organoids resembling either the dorsal forebrain and containing cortical glutamatergic neurons, or ventral forebrain and containing GABAergic neurons. These subdomain-specific forebrain organoids can be fused in vitro to generate assembloids and recapitulate the saltatory migration of interneurons and to generate functional circuits of the human cerebral cortex. I will also describe work on human gliogenesis and maturation in years long cultures. Lastly, I will demonstrate how our modular 3D platform can be used to model disease and to study the role of voltage gated calcium channels and the consequences of mutations associated with neuropsychiatric disorders.
PRESENTED BY
Prof Sergiu P Paşca
Assistant Professor
from the Stanford University
INVITED BY
Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)

3:30pm: INTERACTIONS BETWEEN METABOLIC, REWARD AND COGNITIVE PROCESSES IN APPETITE CONTROL
Traditional models of appetite control have emphasised the role of independent homeostatic (metabolic) and reward systems. More recently, this distinction has been abandoned in favour of a framework that emphasises the cross-talk between the neurochemical substrates of the two systems. In addition, evidence has emerged, that 1) cognitive processes such as learning, memory and attention play an important role in everyday appetite control and that 2) metabolic signals play a role in cognition. In this presentation I will present a model of appetite control that integrates cognitive, metabolic and reward mechanisms. The focus will be on studies that have examined the effects of satiation on fMRI BOLD activity in the human brain and the effects of metabolic signals on eating behaviours and cognition in healthy human volunteers. It will be argued that cognitive processes such as attention and memory underpin everyday eating behaviours and that metabolic signals affect eating behaviours, at least in part, via modulation of such higher cognitive functions.
PRESENTED BY
Prof Suzanne Higgs
Professor in the Psychobiology of Appetite
from the University of Birmingham
INVITED BY
INP+SoP