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Posted by Dr Joon Kim on 2 May 2022 | Comments

1:00pm, Monday, 2nd May
Room BIG13, Ground Floor
Biochemistry Building
710 Cumberland St



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 Dr Joon Kim

Department of Physiology, University of Otago

‘The shape of stress’

The brain is hardwired to detect threats and prioritise safety.  While this is critical for survival, it can come at the cost of sacrificing necessary behaviours.  In order to have maximum benefit, these processes need to be flexible.  But how the brain links past experience and adapts to subsequent threats remain poorly understood. Stress is one of the first instinctive reactions to a threat or danger in the environment.  The stress response is controlled by a population of neurons in the brain that release corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH).  Using in vivo optical recordings, I obtained some of the first ever recordings of CRH neuron activity in freely behaving mice. Interestingly, I found that CRH neurons are incredibly dynamic, able to rapidly modulate their activity, but also adapt slowly over long periods of time.  In this talk, I will describe three forms of adaptation in CRH neuron activity and how these adaptations can shape different profiles of stress hormone release and anxiety behaviours in mice.