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Miranda Lim, MD, PhD
September 5, 2019 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Free
“The Function of Early Life Sleep in Development: Lessons from the Prairie Vole”
Abstract: Despite spending almost one third of our lives asleep, the function of sleep remains one of biology’s greatest mysteries. Nearly all animals sleep more early in life, suggesting a highly conserved role for sleep in development. Indeed, disrupted sleep specifically during critical periods of early development can have significant neurobehavioral effects. Poor sleep is highly prevalent in neurodevelopmental disorders, and is commonly viewed as a symptom of “bad brain”. However, our recent research suggests that poor sleep may actually play a causative role in the onset of neurodevelopmental disorders. This seminar examines evidence in the prairie vole, a highly social wild rodent, to test the idea that sleep plays an active and crucial role in the developing social brain, and address emerging findings of the developmental consequences of sleep disruption. This research points to potentially novel therapies using sleep-related interventions to improve outcomes in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.