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Project C02: The functional contributions of prefrontal dopamine and norepinephrine projections to cognitive and social resilience

Principal Investigators

Sevil Duvarci, Ph.D.

Group Leader

Project Team

Alena Deuerlein, Master student
Olga Bazhanova, PhD student

Our Research

C02 investigates how neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-projecting dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) neurons and interactions between the PFC, ventral tegmental area and locus coeruleus promote resilience to stress-induced social, but mainly also cognitive, deficits. To this end, we will perform in vivo recordings of optogenetically identified PFC-projecting DA and NE neurons as well as simultaneous recordings of neural activity in all three structures in mice after chronic stressor exposure. We will examine the functional contributions of the PFC DA and NE projections to cognitive and social resilience. The causal role of resilience-associated neural activity patterns will be probed using optogenetic manipulations.