ASET Colloquium

Serotonin: The Programming of Emotionality

by Prof. Vidita Vaidya (Department of Biological Sciences, TIFR, Mumbai)

Friday, August 14, 2020 from to (Asia/Kolkata)
at Online ( )
The brain is plastic. This refers to the ability of the brain to undergo changes based on experience. Experience-dependent plasticity results in modifications to the functional outputs of neuronal circuits, and underlies the very ability of the brain to adapt to changing environments. Plasticity can occur at multiple levels, spanning the spectrum from molecular adaptations such as epigenetic changes, structural remodeling including pruning of dendrites/axons and neurogenesis, and synaptic plasticity that results in the strengthening/weakening of synaptic contacts based on experience. While accumulating evidence suggests that the brain remains fairly plastic throughout life, it is clear that there are also time-windows during development when the brain is highly sensitive to its environment, referred to as “critical periods”.  These critical periods allow neurocircuits, that are laid out through a genetic blueprint, to adjust their functional outputs based on the environment they experience. The neurocircuitry that underlies emotional behaviors is also fine-tuned in response to early life experience, and plastic changes in these circuits result in life-long changes in emotional behavior. My talk will focus on the key role of serotonin in the modulation of neurocircuits that regulate emotion.

About the Speaker:

Vidita Vaidya is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Her research group is interested in understanding the neurocircuitry of emotion. Vidita has a BSc in Life Science and Biochemistry (St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai) and a PhD in Neuroscience (Yale University). She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolisnka Institute and then at Oxford University, prior to setting up her own lab at TIFR in 2000. The work of her group was recognized by the National Bioscientist Award (2012) and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Medical Sciences (2015) from the Govt. of India. She also received the Nature Excellence in Mentoring Award in the Mid-career Category in 2019.
Organised by Dr. Satyanarayana Bheesette