OIST Mini Symposium "Cholinergic mechanisms in adaptive behaviour"


Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 09:00 to Friday, April 15, 2016 - 18:00


OIST Seaside House, Seminar Room & Chura Hall



The goal of this symposium is to bring together a group of leading researchers investigating the role of acetylcholine within brain circuits responsible for learning and behavior. Acetylcholine has long been known to play a crucial role in adaptive behavior, but the limited access to the cholinergic neurons which release acetylcholine has limited progress. The recent availability of genetic approaches to targeting cholinergic neurons for experimental study, combined with sophisticated electrophysiological, behavioral and imaging approaches, has led to an explosion of new findings. The field is on the cusp of a major advance in understanding the role of acetylcholine at cellular, circuit, and system levels. In bringing this group together we aim to take an important step toward an integrated concept of the contribution of acetylcholine to higher brain function, and the underlying neural mechanisms, by discussing the following issues: 

  • How to integrate the most recent results into a coherent concept of the role of acetylcholine. 
  • What causal and correlative evidence supports recent proposals regarding cholinergic function.
  • How do cholinergic effects interact with actions of other neuromodulators such as dopamine and serotonin?
  • What is the contribution of acetylcholine to overall brain function, focusing on the basal ganglia, and thalamocortical interactions?
Speakers (in alphabetical order)
  • ​Bernard Balleine, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Anastasia Christakou, University of Reading, UK
  • Stefanie Cragg, University of Oxford, UK
  • Yasushi Kobayashi, Osaka University, Japan
  • Kazuto Kobayashi, Fukushima Medical University, Japan
  • Angela Langdon, Princeton Neuroscience Institute, USA
  • David Lovinger, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; National Institutes of Health, USA
  • Genela Morris, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Margaret E. Rice, NYU School of Medicine, USA
  • Andrew Sharott, University of Oxford, UK
  • James Surmeier Jr, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA
    (Speaker list is subject to change. Thank you for your understanding)

Main organizer
Jeff Wickens (Neurobiology Research Unit)

For further information visit the mini-symposium website

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