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Memory and information processing in assemblies of neurons

Memory and information processing in assemblies of neurons

Objective

Electrically excitable cells are present in many multicellular organisms, especially in brains of animals, but they are also present in lower animals lacking central nervous system as sponges or in animals having excitable epithelia, which can conduct signals (neuroid conduction). Conducted electrical events serve for translation of environmental parameters and cues, obtained via sensory systems, into biological information and processes. Living organism uses electric signal to encode sensory information and prepare it for further processing what results with a specific actions (behaviour) or with memory storage in cellular network. Understanding of physical basis of information processing in living organism is an important aim of the modern neuroscience. The most common way for uncovering the response organization is observation of cell cultures under particular conditions. Such conditions can refer to different type of environmental stimuli, like chemicals, temperature, light intensity including gravity. The adaptation of organisms to a certain gravitational conditions make their functioning working properly in symbiosis with the particular strength of gravitational acceleration on Earth. The question which arises, especially during the spatial exploration era in which we are living now, is what are the effects of gravitational changes on living organisms? Can they survive or adapt? And the most important question for neuroscientists: can the microgravity conditions affect the information processing by the animal brain and commanding units in plants? The study of this problem is of great importance when thinking about the long exposure to microgravity conditions during long spatial flights as well as during spatial colonisations. The main aim of the proposal is the study of the ability of living organisms to adapt to a new environment in terms of a proper information processing of external stimuli and memory processes.
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Coordinator

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Address

Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma

Italy

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 45 000

Administrative Contact

Paolo De Natale (Dr.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 239324

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    20 August 2009

  • End date

    19 August 2012

Funded under:

FP7-PEOPLE

  • Overall budget:

    € 45 000

  • EU contribution

    € 45 000

Coordinated by:

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy