SfN: Day 1 (for me)

View of the bay: San Diego

I arrived in San Diego Saturday afternoon. I forgot how much I love the city!
I picked up my packet and headed to the poster session just a few minutes before it ended.

Poster Highlight: Common functional changes in the juxtacapsular bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (jcBNST) during withdrawal from different drugs of abuse.

1MIND, Scripps Res. Inst., LA JOLLA, CA; 2CNAD, Scripps Res. Inst., La Jolla, CA; 3BioCircuits Inst., Univ. of California San Diego, San Diego, CA

The juxtacapsular nucleus of the anterior division of the BNST (jcBNST) receives robust glutamatergic projections from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA), the postpiriform transition area, and the insular cortex as well as dopamine (DA) inputs from the midbrain. In turn, the jcBNST sends GABAergic projections to the medial division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEAm) as well as other brain regions. The authors observed a form of non-synaptic long-term potentiation of the intrinsic excitability (LTP-IE) of jcBNST neurons in response to high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the stria terminalis. This LTP-IE was characterized by decreased action potential threshold and increased temporal precision of firing. LTP-IE in the jcBNST was impaired during protracted withdrawal from self-administration of alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. LTP-IE could be restored in alcohol dependent rats by repeated administration of a corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 1 (CRF-R1) antagonist. Impairment of this form of intrinsic neuronal plasticity in the jcBNST could result in inadequate neuronal integration and reduced inhibition of the CEA, contributing to the negative affective state that characterizes protracted abstinence in post-dependent individuals.

For the full abstract click here. [Most of these data has been published.]

–Apparently, the shuttles stop running between the hotel and convention centers fairly early. Nonetheless, I caught a cab to the Hilton Bayfront for the Diversity in Neuroscience Poster Session.

There were well over 60 posters presentations. Some of the posters on display were from trainees supported by the Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP). It is a three-year fellowship administered by the Society for Neuroscience to enhance career development and professional networking opportunities for underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in neuroscience. The program, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, provides scholars with:

  • Annual stipend for enrichment activities outside the scholar’s home institution
  • Support for and annual meeting travel expenses
  • Access to annual meeting workshops, courses, and events
  • Complimentary SfN meeting registration and abstract fee waivers
  • Complimentary SfN membership and subscription to The Journal of Neuroscience online


I’m a little bummed that I missed Glenn Close Speech, Bringing Change to Mind on Mental Illness  (www.bringchange2mind.org)
From what I hear, it was awesome. Fortunately, some other bloggers have shared their thoughts:  Blogging on the Brain and Tideliar



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