Dr Lora Sweeney (IST Austria): "Defining tetrapod motor circuits across evolution and development" School of Psychology and Neuroscience Seminar
Defining tetrapod motor circuits across evolution and development
Vertebrates demonstrate a wide range of motor behaviors. Recent advances in single-cell transcriptomics, anatomical and physiological profiling have revealed that mammalian spinal circuits consist of highly diverse neural types. The functional role of this cell-type heterogeneity and its implication in the control motor behaviors are still largely unknown. We have taken a cross-species evolutionary approach to dissect the common and divergent cell-type architecture for tetrapod motor behavior. By comparing spinal cord cell type architecture of amphibians (Xenopus laevis), the most ancient tetrapod, with mammals (Mus musculus) at both developing and adult stages, we reveal high conservation of essential circuits for four-limbed movement, and variation in these circuits that comprise candidate populations for species-specific behavior.