We are proud that at this year Virtual NWG Göttingen Meeting three symposia have been organised with RTG2416 participation :

S18 Challenges in autism: beyond species and brain regions – common mechanisms for neuronal dysfunction?

Prof. Böckers from the University of Ulm and the RTG2416 PhD Kim Le have organised this Symposium dealing with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which is defined by core symptoms in impaired social interaction and communication as well as by stereotypic behaviors. Atypical sensory processing issues have also been reported in this complex disease and it is likely that social-cognitive deficits are linked to altered sensory perception. Our brains constantly receive sensory cues and create an internal representation of our environment. Filtering stimuli according to their relevance is key in order to allow for appropriate and fast reactions but can be disturbed in individuals with ASD. Although alterations in network connections are a whole mark in ASD, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying ASD deficits are yet not well understood.

The symposium S18 aims to shed light on information processing dysfunction in ASD across modalities and brain regions. Mechanisms will be elucidated at a molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral level ranging from studies in stem cell culture, insects and rodents to human data. By using Drosophila genetics and connectomics, Peter Soba (Germany) will link unprecise neuronal wiring in ASD to dysfunctional sensory integration and social behavior. Susanne Schmid (Canada) will focus on altered mechanisms of sensory filtering in the rodent auditory system by using a variety of methods including behavioral assays and in vivo/in vitro electrophysiological recordings. In addition to that, Valentina Parma (Philadelphia) will give insights into the neurobiological basis of social cognition and sensory perception in ASD patients on the basis of the olfactory system. For a deeper understanding of social behaviors, Ofer Yizhar (Israel) will outline the role of prefrontal cortex circuits and how its social representations can be perturbed. Agata Szlaga (Poland) will present data on the underlying neuronal mechanisms of novelty preference and the involved brain areas in order to elucidate atypical reactions to novelty in ASD. Last but not least: given the importance of the development of suitable tools and systems to investigate neuropsychiatric disorders, Maria Rosaria Vitale (Germany) will introduce the generation of ASD-associated iPSC lines using CRISPR/Cas9.

S22 – MultiSenses – MultiScales: Deciphering neural processing in multisensory integration

which is hosted by Prof. Björn Kampa and Prof. Marc Spehr


S29  Odors and Metabolism – neuromodulation in sensory processing

Dr. Markus Rothermel together with Prof. Ilona Grunwald Kadow vom Freising have been organised this symposium which will highlight some of the most recent advances in state-dependent modulation of information processing in the olfactory system. Most species rely heavily on olfaction to find and evaluate food, mating partners and oviposition sites or to avoid dangers. The animal’s current metabolic state, however, strongly modulates its perception of odor according to behavioral and physiological needs. Conversely, odors influence appetite, emotions, and trigger general arousal. While researchers start to understand primary feed-forward processing in olfaction, the role of the many recurrent connections that are found in the olfactory nervous system across animal species remains elusive.

The symposium S29 aims to shed light on these complex processes by combining speakers investigating the mechanisms underpinning state-dependent olfactory processing in different model systems and species.Veronica Egger will talk about neuromodulation through the hormone vasopressin in microcircuits in the rodent olfactory bulb. Celine Riera will focus her talk on the discovery of neural circuits regulating metabolic balance in the context of obesity, diabetes and the aging process – for instance, she previously showed in the mouse that the smell of food odor powerfully suppresses appetite. Katrin Vogt uses the powerful combination of Drosophila genetics and connectomics in the fly larva to demonstrate how hunger states switch perceptual valence of odors. Geraldine Wright will focus in her talk on how nutrition and physiology of honeybees and bumblebees influence chemical sensation and their ability to learn,ultimately influencing their choice of food, survival and ecology.Moreover, two students,Francisco Jesus Rodriguez Jimenez and Antoine Hoffmann, will speak about their latest results on neuromodulation and behavioral adaptation in Drosophila and the American cockroach, respectively.

NeuroWissenschaftliche Gesellschaft: https://www.nwg-goettingen.de/2021/