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NFSS Seminar Series: Dr. James Surmeier

NFSS Seminar Series: Dr. James Surmeier

Thursday, April 15, 2010

12:00pm - 1:00pm


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The next instalment of our NFSS Seminar Series will be taking place next week on Thurs. Apr. 15th from 12-1 pm in AA160 in the Arts and Admin Building.  We are pleased to have Dr.

James Surmeier as our speaker and the title and abstract of his talk is shown below:

Dichotomous control of striatal synaptic plasticity and Parkinson's disease

Dopamine (DA) is important to a wide range of striatal functions, including associative learning and habit formation. At synapses between cortical pyramidal neurons and principal striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), DA modulates the induction of long-term plasticity. Postsynaptic

D1 and D2 DA receptors play complementary roles in the two major classes of MSN to ensure that synaptic plasticity is bidirectional and Hebbian. In models of Parkinson's disease where striatal levels of DA are dramatically reduced, synaptic plasticity loses it bidirectionality, disconnecting experience from changes in synaptic strength and creating an imbalance between striatal efferent pathways. This imbalance induces homeostatic adaptations that remodel the striatum and serve to restore the balance between its efferent pathways. The homeostatic capacity of the striatum creates a new framework for understanding the pathophysiology of disease states, like Parkinson's disease.


Light refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you there and this seminar is sponsored by The Keg and GSAS (

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