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PhD Transfer Seminar – Amira Abozaid (Gerlai Lab)

July 22, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 11:30 am

Investigating the developmental stage dependent effects of embryonic alcohol exposure on associative learning and memory in adult zebrafish



Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND) are mild forms of Fetal Alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD is due to exposure of the fetus to alcohol. Learning and memory deficits are common in ARND, but the type and severity of symptoms often vary. The developmental time point of alcohol exposure has been proposed as one of the reasons for this variation. Zebrafish have been previously utilized to study FASD.  Using a dose and length of exposure that is expected to mimic low concentration alcohol consumption leading to ARND in humans, I will expose zebrafish to alcohol at different stages of their embryonic development.  I will develop a simple classical conditioning paradigm using a novel reinforcer, environmental stimuli, as the unconditioned stimulus, and a red cue card as the conditioned stimulus to study associative learning and memory in the alcohol exposed zebrafish after they grow up. Thus, I will utilize the behavioural paradigm to study the effects of embryonic alcohol administered across a range of developmental time points on associative learning and memory. I will also investigate dopamine and serotonin levels using high-performance liquid chromatography since these neurotransmitters are known to be affected in FASD. This research will uncover whether associative learning is differentially affected by the timing of embryonic alcohol administration in zebrafish.  Thus, it will form the foundation of future work aimed at studying mechanisms underlying embryonic alcohol induced changes in associative learning in fish and humans.


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Meeting ID: 857 9143 2402

Host: Robert Gerlai (robert.gerlai@utoronto.ca)



July 22, 2021
11:00 am - 11:30 am
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