I cordially invite you to the online talk of Hanna Zwaka - Harvard University, PostDoc at the EngertLab, Department of Molecular and Cellular biology – on
Monday, 13.03.2023, at 2 p.m.
on the topic:
Awake and Altered: The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Neural Circuits and Behavior.
(Abstract see below)
Check out the following links for even more information about Hanna Zwaka and her research topics:
We are looking forward to welcoming you to the talk!
Awake and Altered: The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Neural Circuits and Behavior
Humans and animals alike require sleep in order to function properly. A lack of sleep can result in a range of negative effects on the brain and body, including decreased cognitive performance and increased reaction times. Over time, sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems. Despite numerous studies, the exact mechanisms behind these effects remain largely unknown.
I utilize various model organisms in my research to shed light on the changes in behavior and underlying neural changes caused by sleep deprivation. Honeybees offers a unique opportunity to study memory consolidation in a relatively simple brain. My research has shown that, like humans, bees reactivate learned information during sleep and thereby strengthen their memories. When this consolidation is disrupted, their memories become weakened.
Additionally, I take advantage of the zebrafish larva, a popular model for studying sleep, to investigate the effects of sleep deprivation. Our findings reveal that sleep deprivation increases reaction time in zebrafish larvae, but surprisingly, also enhances their performance in decision making. The sleep deprived fish demonstrated improved decision-making abilities by taking longer to react to a visual stimulus, which likely allows them more time to integrate information before making a more informed decision.
These results provide new insight into the effects of sleep deprivation on memory and decision making and lay the foundation for a more complete understanding of the alterations that sleep deprivation leaves behind in the brain and the body.