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Monday 19 Nov 2018Dynamics Seminar: Neural circuit dysfunctions in neurodevelopmental disorders

Cian O'Donnell - Bristol

H103 14:30-15:30

Despite intensive research, we still have only a poor understanding of the biological causes of prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders like Autism and Schizophrenia. The problem is hard because we don’t know how to link molecular-level changes in single neurons to the high-level cognitive symptoms in patients. This may change soon, due to the availability of many animal models of these disorders. These models let us study out how information processing may be going awry at the level of neural circuits. I will talk about our recent computational modelling and data analysis work assessing an influential “excitation-inhibition imbalance” theory for Autism. We find that the current theory is too simplistic to explain multiple observed changes in neural circuit activity in a mouse model of Fragile-X Syndrome. We argue that the field needs to adopt a neural-circuit dysfunction view, moving away from the current focus on cellular components.

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