Dear fellow neuroscientists,
Please join us on Tuesday, January 17 at 1:00 pm EST (UTC-5) for the next edition of E.A.R.S. (Electronic Auditory Research Seminars), a monthly auditory seminar
series focused on central auditory processing and circuits.
Qiaojie Xiong (Stony Brook University):
"Nigrostriatal dopamine pathway regulates auditory behaviors"
The auditory striatum, the tail portion of dorsal striatum in basal ganglia, is implicated in perceptual decision-making, transforming
auditory stimuli to action outcomes. Despite its known connections to diverse neurological conditions, the dopaminergic modulation of sensory striatal neuronal activity and its behavioral influences remain unknown. In two recent works, we demonstrated that
the optogenetic inhibition of dopaminergic projections from the substantia nigra pars compacta to the auditory striatum impairs mouse auditory decision-making and fear conditioning, but not general movements. In vivo dopamine and calcium imaging in freely
behaving mice revealed that this dopaminergic projection modulates striatal tone representations and learning-induced striatal poentiations. Optogenetic inhibition of D1-receptor expressing neurons and pharmacological inhibition of D1 receptors in the auditory
striatum dampened choice performance accuracy in the auditory discrimination task. Our study uncovers mechanisms within the nigrostriatal system that regulates auditory learning and decision-making.
Emily Dennis (Princeton University):
"How do mice hunt for sounds?"
Rodents are generalists, and invertebrates make up a large part of their diet where available. Even lab-raised
animals will, with just a few days of exposure, efficiently hunt and eat live prey (Hoy et al 2016). In the wild, animals often need to forage in low-light conditions and complex environments where they hear their prey. How do animals use ambiguous sensory
cues to perform this natural behavior?
Towards this goal, we study non-restricted, freely moving,
Mus musculus mice and how they hunt for hidden prey (crickets) in the near-dark in a 2x2 meter arena, using sounds to guide them. I will discuss our progress from our first year as a lab with a focus
on our behavioral data, and talk about where we're headed next as we are beginning to neurally dissect how the animals learn, process, store, and use these cricket sounds.
The seminar will be hosted on Zoom. You can access the seminars
This link is also posted on our website .
The E.A.R.S. subscriber list is the ears-seminar google group, which you can join by emailing: or
visiting the following link: .
Additional upcoming E.A.R.S seminars (1:00 pm ET):
With kind wishes,