Internship: Role of emotional mirror neurons in mouse models of empathy

A internship project to specifically test the role of emotional mirror neurons by using chemogenetic techniques
6+ months
Daily support
Rajeev Rajendran

We can easily decipher the emotional status of another individual, for example we know when our boss looks unhappy and wary of approaching at that time. While the emotional perception is easy and fundamental to the success of highly social species, the neuronal mechanisms are currently not clearly established. Many hypotheses have been proposed and correlational studies indicate the role of emotional mirror regions in the brain, such as anterior cingulate cortex, a causal role for a specific neuronal network has not been shown for specific vicarious behaviors. We use behavioral models in rodent species, also shown to have vicarious emotional perception, to specifically test the role of emotional mirror neurons by using chemogenetic techniques.


Ideal candidate

If you are interested in complex social behaviors, and to explore the causal mechanism using animal models, have research experience working with rodents or are very willing to join such a research project, and are currently doing your Masters’ you are encouraged to apply.


Expect to learn

You can expect to get hands-on experience in mouse behavioral models, ethical approvals, surgicneuromodulation techniques such as chemogenetics, analysis of the behaviors and making statistical comparisons. In addition, troubleshooting various issues, use of enrichment cages and piloting of novel behavioral models as and when the need arises. You will also have access to other state of the art techniques in the lab, such as ultrasound imaging, in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging etc., which you can join during your free time. Feel free to contact if you have more questions and/or are wondering about our preliminary findings.