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BBI Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Takao Hensch
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Biosciences Research Building 1103
For More Information:
Bijan DaBell
bdabell@umd.edu

Speaker: Dr. Takao Hensch, Harvard University

Talk Title: Balancing plasticity/stability across brain development

Abstract: The developing brain is acutely sensitive to the environment when neural circuits exhibit profound plasticity during early life and then later stabilize. A focus on the cellular/molecular bases of these "critical periods" has begun to unravel their underlying mechanisms: while the balance between excitation and inhibition drives onset timing, molecular brakes actively limit rewiring thereafter. Manipulations targeting these processes using pharmacological or genetic approaches are so powerful that animals of identical chronological age may be at the peak, prior to, or past their plastic window. Thus, critical period timing per se is plastic. Interestingly, most of these regulators converge in and around pivotal GABA circuits which are particularly vulnerable in mental illness. Understanding their maturation and maintenance provides novel therapeutic insight into cognitive disorders.

See more about Dr. Hensch 

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