Behavioral paradigms in three-dimensional neural tissue constructs coupled to motor effectors


Project Summary:
The study of neuropsychological phenomena including intelligence, problem-solving, thought, attention, creativity, language, and consciousness has been historically constrained by limitations in human and animal research. These include restrictions on invasive procedures, a lack of early environmental control, tremendous individual variability, poor inferential measures, and economic factors. Nicolas Rouleau’s work aims to bridge the gap separating in vitro neurobiology and human neuropsychology by subjecting three-dimensional neuromuscular tissue constructs to behavioral paradigms. This interdisciplinary Kaplan Lab project involves pairing cultured neural networks (cortical cells) with motor effectors (motor neurons; myocytes) to assess basic and complex stimulus-response patterns with or without electrochemical feedback. The goal is to demonstrate features of higher-order processing and their underlying mechanisms.