Killam Seminar Series: Imprinting, Odor Perception and the Critical Period: Shaping Behavioral Responses

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 16:00to17:00
Montreal Neurological Institute de Grandpre Communications Centre, 3801 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA

Supported by the generosity of the Killam Trusts, The Neuro's Killam Seminar Series invites outstanding guest speakers whose research is of interest to the scientific community at the MNI and McGill University.

To attend in person, register here

To watch via vimeo, click here

Congrong (Ron) Yu

Investigator and Professor, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, USA

Host: jf.cloutier [at] mcgill.ca (Jean-François Cloutier)

Abstract: Animals exhibit innate appetitive and aversive responses to specific odor stimuli, while also learning to approach or avoid odors through experience. Although the innate behavioral responses must be established genetically, we found that these responses can be altered by odor experience during early postnatal experience, through a process known as olfactory imprinting. We found that exposure to odors during the developmental critical period of the olfactory system converts innately aversive odors into homing signals for mice under threat. Mechanistically, early odor exposure alters the projection patterns of olfactory sensory neurons, thereby changing odor identity. We found that this developmental plasticity required a population of cells during perinatal neurogenesis. Moreover, we identify a master regulator that orchestrates axon plasticity and gene expression during the critical period. Its absence disrupts the closure of the critical period and abolishes odor imprinting.

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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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