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An Autonomous Institution, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India
Seminars and Colloquia


The role of postnatal developmental periods in shaping adult neurocircuitry and behavior 
Thu, Sep 28, 2017,   04:00 PM to 05:00 PM at Seminar Room 34, 2nd Floor, Main Building

Dr. Deepika Suri
Columbia University, NY, USA

Postnatal life constitutes a developmental window, where the environment in concert with endogenous pathways can shape circuit plasticity and activity, to exert a lasting impact on behavior. By examining two such developmental time-points, an early postnatal period and adolescence in rodent models, my research has mechanistically studied how perturbations during developmental periods impact adult behavior.
My PhD research examined the role of early life stressors in shaping hippocampal plasticity and adult cognitive behavior. We observed that while postnatal stressors have short-term adaptive consequences on hippocampal learning and plasticity, there is an emergence of maladaptive consequences on both behavior and plasticity as these animals age. Further, strikingly opposing changes in epigenetic regulation of trophic factor expression were observed accompanying the short-term adaptive and the late emerging maladaptive consequences of early stress, demonstrating a key role for epigenetic mechanisms in mediating the behavioral and structural effects of early life stressors.
My current research examines the role of adolescent dopamine levels in shaping dopamine circuit activity and dopamine-regulated behaviors. We have identified a novel dopamine sensitive window period during adolescence, during which perturbing dopamine levels, permanently alters dopaminergic circuit activity and adult aggressive/impulsive behaviors. Further, our findings from optogenetic manipulations and fiber photometric analysis demonstrate a causal relationship between dopaminergic hyperactivity and aggressive-impulsive behavior.