Title of Abstract: Physiological and mathematical investigations of the modulation of cell types in the lobster cardiac ganglion using calcitonin-like diuretic hormone
Mentors’ Organizations or Departments: Neuroscience Program, Bowdoin College; Department of Mathematics, Bowdoin College; Neuroscience Department, Brandeis University
Research Abstract: The cardiac neuromuscular system of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, provides a strong model for investigating central pattern generators (CPGs). CPGs are neural networks that drive numerous rhythmic movement patterns (e.g., heartbeat, breathing, or locomotion). These rhythmic patterns can become flexible via neuromodulation. Understanding the mechanisms that cause neural firing patterns has larger implications in helping to characterize behaviors influenced by neuromodulation. A two-cell computational model of the cardiac ganglion was constructed along with two neuromodulators: proctolin and calcitonin-like diuretic hormone (CLDH). We created the first computational model to explore CLDH in any decapod and the first model to explore the possible interaction of CLDH and proctolin in the American lobster. The model predicts that the intrinsic modulator CLDH and the external modulator proctolin, when released, could interact to produce a complex, non-linear output in the heart.