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Mini FUSI Course and NIN Symposium

Date 10 November 2023
Research group Gazzola
Location Amsterdam
Program 14:45-15:45 Mini FUSI Course + FUSI Lab Visit
16:00-17:00 NIN Symposium

Host: Dr. Valeria Gazzola
Group leader of the Social Brain Lab.

The speakers
Floor Nelissen MSc
PhD student in the Social Brain Lab.
Neth. Institute for Neuroscience.

Dr. David Maresca
Assistant Professor of Imaging Physics
Faculty of Applied Sciences
Delft University of Technology.

Title: Functional Ultrasound Imaging at the NIN – a collaborative effort
FUSI in action: Neural networks underlying emotional contagion. We often feel bad when witnessing a painful scene, because observing an emotion of a conspecific triggers the same emotion in the observer. This phenomenon, emotional contagion, has been observed in humans and other species, including rodents. Human fMRI studies identified the involved brain circuitry, encompassing several brain regions. In rodents, invasive techniques can inform on single cell responses and specific connections, but identifying the whole circuit in awake animal remains difficult and mostly limited to the cortex or a selected deep brain region. To validate social animal models and gain insight into the evolution of emotional contagion, we need the ability to read-out emotional circuitries in rodents and compare them to those found in humans. By using, as for fMRI, blood flow changes as indirect measure of brain activity, Functional Ultrasound Imaging (FUSI) can bridge this gap, by allowing imaging of big volumes of the brain of awake rodents and have a measure more directly comparable across species. During the symposium F. Nelissen will show our first results on the circuit of emotional contagion in rodents by using FUSI.

Our close collaborator, Dr. D. Maresca, will present another interesting application of ultrasound imaging:

From acoustic biomolecules to ultrasound imaging of cellular function

Advances in light sheet fluorescence microscopy enable fast, volumetric and high-resolution imaging of fluorescently labelled cells in clear specimen. However, limitations inherent to optical methods prevent deep tissue imaging in intact and opaque organisms. Biomolecular ultrasound is an emerging field that combines genetically encoded acoustic biomolecules with dedicated ultrasound imaging methods to “spy” on cellular processes deep into tissues. This approach provides a unique combination of coverage (cm scale) and resolution (100 μm, 10 ms) which allows us to study biology at the organ scale. In this talk, I will present our latest efforts on the bioengineering and imaging fronts.

FUSI mini-course: Introduction to Functional Ultrasound Imaging at the NIN

Because FUSI is a relatively new technique in neuroscience in general and at the NIN in particular, before the symposium, starting at 14:45, we organized an optional mini course around the topic (duration: one hour), which will give you a quick insight into the technique and the possibility to see the modular set-up with your own eyes. We hope it might inspire new ideas, questions and collaborations. If you are interested, please sign up here.

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