Interrogating the brain through mouse behavior


February 19, 2020 - 12:00pm
Northwest Building 243
About the Speaker
Clifford Woolf
Speaker Title: 
Director of the F.M. Kirby Center and Program in Neurobiology
Speaker Affiliation: 
Boston Children's Hospital

Can we effectively “read” CNS function like sensation though observing mouse behavior? For pain at least this has proved to be highly problematic because the behavioral phenotypes ae variable, insensitive, largely limited to reflexes and subject to bias and stress. In consequence preclinical pain modeling and testing of analgesic efficacy has been non predictive for human clinical trials. How to overcome this?  I will describe a new machine vision and machine learning strategy to measure behavior in freely moving mice in the dark and in the absence of an observer, that has high spatial and temporal sensitivity and rapid automated supervised and unsupervised analytics. This enables us to interrogate behavior in a manner and with a precision not possible before, which may reveal new insights into brain function at the whole animal level.