Research Summary

Long -term Associative memory in Caenorhabditis elegans : Role of CREB-1 dependent genes

Neurons communicate with each other through specialised inter-cellular information pathways called synapses. Structurally one neuron is connected to multiple neurons through synapses but this structural connectivity does not necessarily reflect functional connectivity. This dynamic segregation of structural and functional interconnectivity is the defining feature of nervous system that underlies key functions like memory formation. A long standing hypothesis points out the role of activity dependent de novo protein synthesis in modulating this dynamics. Proposed research work aims to study the protein molecules that are de novo synthesised in response to the external stimuli that lead to formation of long-term memory in a non-pathogenic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

Figure Legend: Schematic representation of change in functional neural connectivity in response to conditioning Triangles and hexagons represent different neurons. The arrows represent the connections between neurons (synapses). Upon conditioning some of the existing functional connections can become silent or vice versa. This results in change in functional neural circuitry which ultimately manifests as behaviour change.