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Development & Evolution of Neurotransmisson (DEN)

Team leader : Philippe Vernier

Our research goal is to understand how modulatory neurotransmitter systems, exemplified by monoamine systems, develop and are organized in the central nervous system of chordates, and how the system organization has been selected during evolution to influence brain functions such as motor behavior and decision making.

The development and the anatomical organization of catecholamine - especially dopamine- systems are more particularly studied in the zebrafish, but also in birds.

Scientific projects

Three complementary research projects are currently conducted in the team :

- 1) Phenotypic plasticity of monoaminergic neurons in the zebrafish. Developmental, anatomical and physiological analysis (principal investigator: Michael Demarque)

- 2) Evolution of the telencephalon and of the target areas of dopamine in the vertebrate brain: neural basis of cognition in Vertebrates. (principal investigator: Kei Yamamoto)

- 3) Evolution of the regionalization of the neural tube and of dopamine systems (receptors, dopamine biosynthesis). (principal investigator: Philippe Vernier).

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