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Li Zhang, Ph.D.
October 25 @ 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.Free
“Neural circuits for valence coding, emotional states, and motivated behaviors”
Join the UCI Center for Neural Circuit Mapping in a hybrid seminar featuring Dr. Li Zhang of USC Medical School.
The topic is about our recent studies on neural circuits in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the hypothalamus. MPOA plays a critical role in parental and prosocial behaviors via subpopulations of its GABAergic neurons. We now show that MPOA can be more generally viewed to serve as a critical hub to mediate both negative and positive emotional states and related behaviors through its glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, respectively, with the former encoding extremely negative valence and mediating anxiety-like behaviors, and the latter, oppositely, encoding positive valence and producing rewarding effects. I will discuss the circuitry underlying how MPOA coordinately and antagonistically mediates behaviors related to different emotional states.