Brain metabolic states and behavior

3 October 2014

Sriram Chandrasekaran
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows


Behavior is a dynamic process associated with multiple levels of cognitive processing, influenced by both genotype and the environment. Given its dynamic nature, it is not known if behavior is regulated by similar transcriptional regulatory networks known for other processes such as development. Using brain gene expression profiles from 853 individual honeybees involving 48 different natural behavior states such as aggression and foraging, we address the following questions related to the regulation of behavior. Do behavior-specific changes lead to distinct transcriptomic states in the brain? How are these states defined and maintained? I will also discuss interesting parallels that we discovered between the metabolic states of aggressive honeybee brains and proliferating cancer cells, and discuss the possible role of this cancer-like metabolic state in the bee brain.

current theory lunch schedule