Palestra “The Nature and Nurture of Social Behavior, or How Fish Make Friends”

15 Março 2024

Sala de Atos

Ispa – Instituto Universitário

O Ciclo de Conferências do Ispa – Instituto Universitário apresenta: “The Nature and Nurture of Social Behavior, or How Fish Make Friends”, com o Professor Philip Washbourne da Universidade de Oregon (EUA). Com um olhar sobre a biologia subjacente ao comportamento social, Washbourne abordará a influência de distúrbios neurodesenvolvimentais, como autismo e esquizofrenia, e compartilhará estudos sobre os mecanismos moleculares, celulares e comportamentais do comportamento social em peixes-zebra, potencialmente ampliando nossa compreensão do comportamento social humano.

Much of social behavior is a part of our everyday lives that is typically taken for granted. Eye contact, gestures, small talk; many of these components are performed automatically. But what happens when the underlying biology is compromised? Several neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, ADHD, and schizophrenia, negatively affect social behavior. Understanding brain and body mechanisms responsible for social behavior allows us to explore interventions to alleviate social deficits, or to better integrate this type of neurodivergence into society at large. We have taken a model organism approach, examining social behavior in zebrafish, and their tendency to shoal. Here, I detail some of our studies to elucidate molecular, cellular and behavioral mechanisms of social behavior, that may have consequences for our understanding of human social behavior.

“Research in the Washbourne Lab focuses on the genetic, molecular, and cellular underpinnings of social behavior. Using behavioral, biochemical, histological and genetic analyses, we are examining the circuits and the molecules that make social behavior possible and how they form during development. We have focused for the time being on social behavior in the zebrafish, a very social fish that follows and orients with respect to other zebrafish. Our work has implications for neurological disorders with social components such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.”

Philip Washbourne, University of Oregon

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