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PhD Transfer Exam – Afif Aqrabawi (Kim lab)

January 28, 2016 @ 10:10 am - 11:10 am

PhD Transfer Exam

Thursday January 28th, 10:10 am – Room 432, Ramsay Wright Building, University of Toronto

Afif Aqrabawi (Kim lab)

Cortical Control of Olfactory Information Processing: The Role of the Anterior Olfactory Nucleus and Ventral Hippocampus in Vivo


Sensory perception is not simply a feed-forward mechanism. Higher cortical regions actively modulate information processing in lower regions via diverse ‘feedback’ connections. This allows the cortex to suppress or enhance responses in peripheral structures depending on the relevance of the stimuli and to modulate bottom-up information in a manner that matches experience and expectation.  In the context of the olfactory system, the role of cortical feedback projections in the awake behaving animal has never been investigated. Using hM4D and hM3D DREADDs, we found that modulating activity of feedback from the anterior olfactory nucleus pars medialis (mAON) in vivo leads to a bidirectional change in olfactory sensitivity and olfaction-dependent behaviours. Furthermore, we demonstrate that optogenetic stimulation of ventral hippocampal terminals at the mAON is sufficient to alter olfaction-dependent behaviours. Future work will focus on how this gain-control function of the mAON plays a role in odour discrimination. Our investigation will also continue to consider the relationship between the hippocampus and the AON and their contribution as top-down modulators of olfactory information processing.
Ramsay Wright is a wheelchair accessible building.




January 28, 2016
10:10 am - 11:10 am
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Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
25 Harbord St.
Toronto, ON M5S 3G5 Canada