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Week 1 Lecture notes

by: Jamie Yang

Week 1 Lecture notes 119P

Jamie Yang
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These are notes from the 1 o'clock lecture
Emerging Topics in Neuroscience
Prof Blair
Class Notes
Blair, Emerging, Topics, neuroscience




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jamie Yang on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 119P at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Prof Blair in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Emerging Topics in Neuroscience in Psychlogy at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
Logistics Quiz every Tuesday, on the past lectures – Professor will let us know what the quizzes cover as  the quizzes come along Thursday discussions are for prepping for the seminars ­ do a review of the topics  ­ presented with two articles to give background knowledge of the upcoming seminar  ­ 2 articles, each 20 mins 2 of the 10 week seminars are canceled ­ week 3 and week 8  Grading - quizzes o notes during lecture discussion o notes on preparation discussions  - participation o attendance in section and quizzes in lecture o the presentation given in section o must enroll discussion enrolled in - end of quarter, we choose our favorite topic and write a double spaced paged paper on it  o no midterms or finals Sex Differences in Brain may… 1. This part starts at 1:06 in the audio I recorded 2. Four points in the seminar – typed in italicized blue Sex differences depend on hormone-dependent and hormone- independent actions of sex chromosomes as well as on environmental influences 3. Vasopressin is a neurotransmitter and a hormone a. specifically, it is a hormone released by the hypothalamus and stored in the  posterior pituitary for release when needed  b. constricts blood vessels, raising the blood pressure, and increases peristalsis  which is a series of muscle contractions and relaxations that happen along the  process of intestinal tract to push food and waste products through, and more c. in most mammals, it vasopressin exists in the arginine form (hence, AVP,  arginine vasopressin) 4. There are vasopressin projections (i.e. axons) from the amygdala to the lateral septum  a. The lateral septum is the part of the brain that projects to the dopaminergic  award systems, projection to hypothalamus i. links memory systems to motivational systems ii. memories of past experiences influences how you make decisions about  what behaviors you should perform  b. Sexual dimorphism: the condition where the two sexes of the same species  exhibit different characteristics beyond the differences in their sexual organs i. There is a sexual dimorphism here – if there is a big difference in the  vasopressin projections to the lateral septum between males and females,  there’s a difference between how males and females use their past  experience about what they should and should not do c. Assumed knowledge: major dimorphic feature of males is they have testis and  testosterone, which is released more in males than in females  i. to reduce testosterone in males to same level of testosterone in females  would be by castrating males  ii. however, the age that the male is castrated matters  iii. the experiment: male castration effects on vasopressin projections to  the lateral septum  1. there was a decrease number of AVP fibers in lateral septum 2. AVP stands for arginine vasopressin, which is vasopressin  containing arginine 3. male lateral septum looked more like female lateral septum, since  males normally have more AVP fibers in the lateral septum 4. this fact holds true for males castrated at younger ages  iv. background knowledge 1. younger ages contain a developmental critical period – when brain  is wiring itself together 2. in males normally, brain is bathed by testosterone when developing 3. thus, if you castrate an animal at young age, its brain not being  bathed in testosterone – which would be the same environment a  female brain is in  a. eventually the male brain looks more like a female brain  4. this shows an animal with the male genome but has its brain  developed in a female environment  d. if you give testosterone to adult males, this can elicit male sexual response  behavior with testosterone in lateral septum – only true for those who haven’t  been castrated at young age – still true of castrated at older age  i. if castrate at young age, brain looks like females  ii. castrate at older age, brain looks like male, but taking testosterone away  iii. give testosterone, demonstrate like mounting female  iv. but for those castrated at young age, not same  v. testosterone have two diff effects – not in males castrated at young age  though  vi. during brain dev, has effect of causing brain to look like a male brain vii. later, testosterone in the brain can stimulate male activity like sexual  behavior viii. vasopressin – major fxn: holds in water/helps not pee 1. lots of structures in brain release vasopressin to pituitary  2. Hypothalamus, amygdala, etc. 3. not just one fxn of vasopressin though e. projection from extended amygdala – not one source/fxn of vasopressin  f. lots of structure releasing vasopressin – hypothalamus, amygdala g. sexual dimorphism specific from vasopressin projection and amygdala h. vasopressin projection fibers don’t differ, but vasopressin neurons do show sex  diff  i. vasopressin from diff areas do diff things j. not a general understanding what vasopressin does  5. still on point number one 6. point: hormonal diff can be dissociated from other diff in x vs y chromosomes a. SRY gene – what determines the dev of male and female i. just one gene on the y chromosome  b. SRY gene move off Y chromosome and put on autosome – can rescue deficit in  male phenotype – doesn’t have to be on Y chromosome and expressed to drive  male phenotype ­ still see sex diff  i. can delete y chromosome and can still see male phenotype ii. still see sex diff in these kind of behaviors c. point: can dissociate cont from the y chromosome from cont of make phenotype – if have male phenotype is not just y, don’t have normal male phenotype  i. need both for normal male phenotype  ii. take home: male phenotype isn’t just SRY or jus y chromosome – take  away one or the other, neither gives you normal phenotype alone  iii. had both SRY gene and y chromosome– had highest vasopressin iv. vasopressin density = maleness  d. males have more vasopressin projections to lateral septum  7. maternal licking a. point: how environment matters – not just genes and hormones b. more licked – more vasopressin – more maleness  c. no diff in the y chromosome for this, it’s the early childhood experience that  influences the developmental environment  May cause or prevent sex differences in physiology and behavior d. cause: due to chromosomes, leading to diff e. prevent: don’t want them to act diff but would if we don’t stop otherwise;  f. we have to fix things so something doesn’t respond naturally  8. Prairie Voles Example 9. Basic differences between sexes is the Y chromosome and X chromosomes a. When zygote develops into a baby – default developmental path is female if the Y chromosome malfunctions b. In females, one of the X chromosomes is painted over by the Xist RNA, therefore, females have one X chromosome c. Males and females both have one active X chromosome i. so that genes are not double expressed in females ii. to prevent overactivity, one chromosome inactivated, relates to sex  differentiation – part of the second point – preventing sex differences that  would otherwise occur – not in behavior but gene expression  d. Because bodies built differently, they respond differently to stimuli like stress or  drugs as well as responding differently to chemical and sensual stimuli  e. If want to understand the diff, must understand hormonal actions and environment 10. Pairie Bonding Example a. prairie voles are monogamous   b. they show the largest sex difference between septum vasopressin fibers between  sexes compared to any species observed c. in their parenting behavior, can’t tell difference between females and males – both treat children so similarly that can’t tell which is which  d. suggests vasopressin input into lateral septum doesn’t control parenting because  this is the biggest difference in females and males physically but the behavior is  the most similar – a paradox  11. Prairie Vole Birthing Example a. example of how sex differences are there to prevent behavioral differences rather  than to cause them   b. female prairie voles will kill their own babies if they are not delivered by vaginal  birth  i. birthing leads to bonding with baby vs treating the baby as enemy or food  c. males never give birth to babies so they don’t need birthing to parent the young,  yet they take care of the babies just the same as female prairie voles who given  vaginal birth d. implication: vasopressin projections into the lateral septum or something else –  may not be needed to care for young but females do need those projections to care for the young  e. differences might result in from vasopressin in lateral septum or other feature in  brain  f. example of the seminar’s second main point – can cause or prevent sex diff that  would otherwise exist if males gave birth to young to not kill them May explain sex differences in the vulnerability for behavioral and other disorders g. examples of diseases more common in males than females h. these different in brain explains why i. our understanding is primitive at this point Can only be understood from a whole-body perspective 12. Knockout something for vasopressin   a. vasopressin is hormone (endocrine system) and neurotransmitter  b. binds to receptors on other cells after released from endocrine cell/neuron, causes  to respond to in certain ways  c. diff receptor molecule – knockout one, vp1 receptor so vasopressin released by  neuron  cant activate cells normally activated – this decreases anxiety in males but not in females  d. w/o vasopressin 1 – less fear of open spaces on elevated cross mazes e. rodents normally fear open spaces bc they are preyed upon species so fear open  spaces  f. if knocked out, less anxious but not female rats g. not females though – sexual dimorphism  h. male vp1 receptor involved in anxiety behaviors not seen in humans  13. Play  a. increase vasopressin message increase play  b. more vasopressin you have at early ages, less playful animals are  c. example of behaviors by vasopressin adjustments – generalized to possibility that  susceptible to diseases like schizophrenia and autism  14. Schizophrenia and Autism are examples of diseases that are more prevalent in males.  a. This is related to how the brain is structured differently between sexes b. disorders more in males results from dysfunction of processes – dev proc – more  prevalent in males than females – so more common in males vs females  15. Prairie voles a. There is a polymorphism for the vasopressin receptor allele that leads to  monogamous pair bonding  b. males with one allele v the other = pair bonding differences  c. Mountain voles are not monogamous – don’t help care for young d. studies show a lot of the differences are due to diff expressions of vasopressin  receptors  e. can manipulate by knocking in and out  f. diff in monogamy regulated by vasopressin  g. analyzed DNA of humans – polymorphism in vasopressin – see some males have  one nucleotide while other have different nucleotides, leading to a diff behavior  i. gave men and spouses – quizzes – how monogamously bonded they are –  th can predict score on scale based on polymorphism  16. The 4  point was skipped in lecture Tuesday, week 1


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