Differential Resilience to Perturbation of Circuits with Similar Performance
Healthy individual animals and people are nonetheless differentially resilient to environmental challenge. We use experimental and computational methods to explore this resilience in a small nervous system from crabs. Experimental work on the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion (STG) has revealed a 2-6 fold variability in many of the parameters that are important for circuit dynamics. Theoretical work shows that similar network performance can arise from diverse underlying parameter sets. Together, these lines of evidence suggest that each individual animal, at any moment in its life-time, has found a different solution to producing “good enough” motor patterns for healthy performance in the world. This poses the question of the extent to which animals with different sets of underlying circuit parameters can respond reliably and robustly to environmental perturbations and neuromodulation. We use both experimental and computational methods to study the effects of temperature, pH, high K + concentrations, and neuromodulation on the networks of the STG from the crab, Cancer borealis. While all animals are remarkably robust and reliable to substantial perturbations, extreme perturbations produce crashes and degraded function. These crashes differ substantially across animals and in models with different underlying parameter differences. The idiosyncratic nature of the crashes provides heuristic insight into the diverse nature of individuals to extreme perturbations. Moreover, models of homeostatic regulation of intrinsic excitability give insight into the kinds of mechanisms that could give rise to the highly variable solutions to stable circuit performance. The underlying parameter differences across the animals in a population and their differences in crash behavior provide a necessary substrate for evolution.
Date: 24 February 2020, 13:15 (Monday, 6th week, Hilary 2020)
Venue: Sherrington Building, off Parks Road OX1 3PT
Venue Details: Large Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Professor Eve Marder (Biology Department and Volen Center, Brandeis University)
Organising department: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG)
Organiser: Professor David Paterson (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address: hod-pa@dpag.ox.ac.uk
Host: Professor David Paterson (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Part of: Mabel FitzGerald Prize Lecture
Booking required?: Not required
Booking url: https://www.dpag.ox.ac.uk/about-us/mabel-fitzgerald-lecture
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Talitha Smith