Dr Miriam Matamales
University of New South Wales

Title: The Striatal Binary Mosaic: a bipartite cellular system encoding behavioural change

One of the most intriguing features of the striatum—a brain structure that is central to behavioural control—is the random distribution in space and the high level of intermingling between its two major neuronal types: D1- and D2-spiny projection neurons (SPNs). These neurons, which are present in equal proportions, form an extensive and homogeneous binary mosaic that is devoid of histological boundaries. Such a peculiar network organisation is actively promoted during development and has been meticulously conserved over 500 million years of evolution. But, for what purpose this neural architecture might be good for? In this talk, I will present a series of studies from my team in which we demonstrate that the local interaction between D1- and D2-SPNs is key for enabling the integration of learning and promoting future behavioural change. Without such mechanism for flexible action control, responses that are inadequate are resistant to change, interfering with normal behaviour and optimal functioning. Our work therefore suggests that the distinctive ‘one-to-one’ cytoarchitecture present throughout the striatum might be strategic to dynamically capture learning signals that define functional modules in what is otherwise a seemingly unstructured neuronal network.

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018