Adam Kepecs: Broken Mental Algorithms and Neural Circuits: Hallucinations and Apathy in Mice

Washington University in St. Louis

Progress in treating severe psychiatric disorders has been slow, despite tremendous advances in neuroscience. Psychiatry faces unique challenges: profoundly subjective symptoms without quantitative diagnostics and an unknown disease etiology, which hinders predictive animal modeling to enable research. I will present two approaches to overcome these obstacles. First, modeling hallucinations cross-species: via quantitative tasks, we bridged the subjective experience gap from mice to humans and identified neural circuits for hallucination-like perceptions in mice. Second, conditions like cancer cachexia can trigger psychiatric symptoms like apathy. Using a mouse cachexia model, we identified a neural circuit that senses inflammation and produces increased effort-sensitivity; manipulating this circuit could alleviate these apathy-like symptoms. Rooted in systems and circuit neuroscience, these approaches offer a clearer understanding of psychiatric phenomena, opening new avenues for developing targeted therapeutics in psychiatry.

Guests are welcome!

Organized by

Torben Ott / Margret Franke


Location: BCCN Berlin, lecture hall, Philippstr. 13 Haus 6, 10115 Berlin

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