Ready, set-point, go: Stability and change across neuronal scales
Chaitanya Chintaluri | Institute of Science and Technology, Austria
Lee Susman| Princeton University, USA
Maayan Levy | Institute of Science and Technology, Austria
The biological machinery that sustains life operates under constantly changing conditions. Organisms must react to these changes to maintain homeostasis, or favorable operational conditions. Such ideal conditions, or set-points, are the valleys to which life gravitates. In this workshop we will delve into the cellular, circuit and system mechanisms which facilitate ‘living in the valley’ for the nervous system. In the nervous system, changes can occur across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. For example, fluctuations in nutrient availability can rapidly alter neural response. The turnover rate of ion channels can change the firing patterns in a matter of hours. Similarly, behavioral states such as hunger can prompt feeding and sleep can modify network connectivity. At a higher level of abstraction, animals must also learn, retain memory, and plan across their lifespan. We will address how neurons, networks and the organism as a whole cope with change and build resilience in its anticipation. We will emphasize that neurons are more than computational units – they are living machines.