Oral Presentation The International Congress of Neuroendocrinology 2014

The neurobiology of need (#19)

Scott Sternson 1
  1. Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, United States

Neural circuits for essential natural behaviors are shaped by selective pressure to coordinate reliable execution of flexible goal-directed actions. However, the structural and functional organization of survival-oriented circuits is poorly understood due to exceptionally complex neuroanatomy. This is exemplified by AGRP neurons, which are a molecularly defined population that is sufficient to rapidly coordinate voracious food seeking and consumption behaviors. We use cell-type-specific techniques for neural circuit manipulation and projection-specific anatomical analysis to examine the motivational properties and structural organization of a critical homeostatic circuit for hunger.