Title of Abstract: Computational Modeling of Homarus americanus Cardiac Ganglion and Nitric Oxide Feedback
Name of Mentor: Patsy Dickinson
Mentor’s Organization or Department: Neuroscience Program, Bowdoin College
Research Abstract: While models of neurons and neuronal networks already exist, there is not a conductance-based model of the Homarus americanus cardiac ganglion. We were primarily interested in the cardiac ganglion, a central pattern generator located on the heart muscle that regulates heart contractions, and nitric oxide, a neuromodulator that maintains a steady heart beat. In our research project, we created this computational, conductance-based biological model and mimicked the nitric oxide feedback mechanism. This novel model of the cardiac ganglion will expand our knowledge of this central pattern generator and its feedback mechanisms. Additionally, this model will help guide future experiments conducted within the Homarus americanus system by modeling hypotheses before tests on biological specimens.