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K-State Today

November 30, 2021

Justin Kenney to present on zebrafish behavior and brain function

Submitted by Effie Swanson

Dr. Justin Kenney

The Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity, or CNAP,  invites you to attend a colloquium presentation by Justin Kenney, assistant professor of biological sciences at Wayne State University. The presentation will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in 498 Bluemont Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Kenney will present his work "Toward the Neural Basis for Individual Differences in Zebrafish Behavior and Brain Function." Individual differences in animal and human behavior are prevalent and are thought to provide
grist for natural selection. Mounting evidence also suggests that individual variation extends to brain function where patterns of brain activity during a given behavior vary between individuals. Although genetics and sex are known to contribute to these differences, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Kenney's lab uses adult zebrafish to study behavioral variation and has found that, during exploration of a novel tank, fish behavior falls into one of four distinct clusters. These differences are influenced by background strain and sex and have a moderate level of consistency across days. His team has recently created an adult zebrafish brain atlas, or AZBA, which now enables whole-brain activity mapping to uncover the neural basis for behavioral differences and identify the extent to which sex and genetics influence the patterns of brain activity of animals that fall into the same behavioral cluster.

This presentation is sponsored by the CNAP Center, an NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence under grant number P20GM113109.