Project Description Narrative:
Healthy function of the central and peripheral nervous systems allow humans to move, feel, hear, see, digest food, regulate heart rate and blood pressure, make decisions and think. Neurons, the fundamental units of the nervous system, communicate with each other through special areas of connection called "synapses." Humans are able to adapt, learn, compute, make decisions, and remember because this synaptic communication is not fixed, but is plastic. This synaptic plasticity is essential to human function, but can also contribute to disorders that directly and indirectly impact populations statewide.
While the molecular events that underlie synaptic plasticity are becoming more well understood, challenges remain in understand how the molecular events of synaptic plasticity lead to behavioral adaptation, learning, computation, decision making and memory. Establishing a vigorous, multifaceted research program in the area of synaptic plasticity within the Neuroscience Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin can contribute to solutions to complex disorders of the nervous system.
Through this award, investigators aim to advance understanding of nervous system function in health and illness by creating a collaborative and translational research program focused on the mechanisms, triggers, and consequences of changes in synaptic plasticity.