Events

ELSC Seminar: Dr. Alon Zaslaver - Apr. 24th, 2018 at 13:00

April 24, 2018

ELSC cordially invites you to the lecture given by: 

  

 Dr. Alon Zaslaver 

Department of Genetics, The Hebrew University 

 

On the topic of: 

“Principles of neural coding for efficient navigation in gradients”

  

The lecture will be held on Tuesday, April 24th, at 13:00

at ELSC: Silberman Bldg., 3rd Wing, 6th Floor,

 Edmond J. Safra Campus

 

Light refreshments at 12:45

 

 

Abstract:

Animal ability to effectively navigate towards food sources is central for survival. Here, using C. elegansnematodes, we revealed a previously unknown mechanism underlying efficient navigation in chemical gradients. This mechanism relies on the orchestrated dynamics of two types of chemosensory neurons: one coding gradients via stochastic pulsatile dynamics, and the second coding the gradients deterministically in a graded manner. The pulsatile dynamics obeys a novel principle where the activity adapts to the magnitude of the gradient derivative, allowing animals to take trajectories better oriented towards the target. The robust response of the second neuron to negative derivatives promotes immediate turns, thus alleviating costs of erroneous turns possibly incurred by the first neuron. This mechanism empowers an efficient navigation strategy that outperforms currently known strategies. This mechanism can be generalized and other sensory modalities may use similar principles for efficient gradient-based navigation.