GT Neuro Seminar Series

“Biological and Bionic Hands: Natural Neural Coding and Artificial Perception”


Shannon Gourley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neuroscience Program
Emory University

Selecting actions based on their consequences is essential to day-to-day function and yet, is impaired in neuropsychiatric diseases like addiction. Goal-directed action selection likely requires the coordinated output of multiple prefrontal cortical structures, but mechanistic factors are still being identified. I will focus on the neurotrophin BDNF in the orbital prefrontal cortex and PI3-kinase in the medial prefrontal cortex, providing evidence that they are key molecular mechanisms by which the brain coordinates goal-directed action. These findings serve as a platform from which to improve goal-directed action selection following developmental cocaine.

Bio-sketch

Gourley’s research team aims to understand why adolescence is a period of vulnerability to the development of multiple psychiatric illnesses. She hypothesizes that pathological stimuli, such as stressors, social isolation and drugs of abuse, significantly impact the adolescent prefrontal cortex. Across mammalian species, this brain region organizes complex decision-making, reward valuation and inhibitory control, and it also undergoes considerable remodeling and development during adolescence. Gourley’s team uses behavioral, pharmacological, biochemical, genetic and cellular approaches to develop and optimize novel therapeutic interventions for vulnerable adolescent populations. Conversely, her research team also aims to better understand the neurobiological mechanisms of resilience to stressors and drugs of abuse at any age.

This presentation can be seen via videoconference on the Emory Campus HSRB E260

Event Details

Date/Time:

  • Monday, January 29, 2018
    11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Krone Engineered Biosystems Building, Room 1005 - Atlanta, GA

For More Information Contact

Chris Rozell - faculty host

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