S19  Same, same but different – Emergence of individuality in the nervous system

Ayse Maraslioglu (Kaiserslautern) and Andreas Ritzau-Jost (Leipzig)

Live Discussion: Friday, March 26, 2021, 17:00 - 18:00h

The nervous system’s complexity is staggering but often reduced experimentally to determine its average property. This however neglects the dissimilarity of individual brains - no brain resembles another, neither structurally nor behaviourally. Behavioural variability however is of an evolutionary advantage, enabling individuals to exhibit varying responses and thereby, as a population, to remain adaptive to changing contingencies.

But how does individuality arise from the same genetic blueprint, how do `behavioural personalities´ exist between genetically identical organisms? Which role do microanatomical variations play, what is the environment’s impact and that of social interactions?
How stable are those traits throughout lifetime, how conserved between species?

The symposium will touch upon different origins of individuality in invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems: Gerrit Arne Linneweber will discuss differences in fruit fly behaviour arising from circuitry variations in the fly’s visual system. Jadna Bogado Lopes will add to our understanding of dynamical behavioural changes in individual mice introduced by newly generated neurons. Using guppies as a model system, David Bierbach will elaborate on behavioural individuality in genetically identical clonal fish, with special emphasis on environmental and social interactions. Cansu Arican will introduce cockroaches as a model to study individuality and the neural correlates in associative learning. Valerie Finke will further discuss the learning abilities over time and across complex learning tasks using the example of honey bees. Finally, Sopie Fayad will present how social interactions impact the mouse brain, leading to differences in decision-making and increasing our understanding on drug vulnerability.

Bridging from structural heterogeneities to environmental and social interaction, this symposium will touch upon various phenomena important for the generation of individuality. Being evident in five different vertebrate and invertebrate species, all these merge and lead to an absolute uniqueness of each and every brain.

The Göttingen Meeting gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Jackson ImmunoResearch Europe.
S19-1 Gerit Arne Linneweber, Berlin, Germany
The origins of individuality in the Drosophila visual system

S19-2 Jadna Bogado-Lopes, Dresden, Germany
Individualisation of behaviour in isogenic mice

S19-3 David Bierbach, Berlin, Germany
Consistent behavioral differences in clonal fish

S19-4 Cansu Arican, Cologne, Germany
Associative learning in cockroaches: individuality and neural correlates

S19-5 Valerie Finke, Würzburg, Germany
Individual consistency in the cognitive abilities of honey bees across elemental and non-elemental learning paradigms

S19-6 Sophie Fayad, Paris, France
Social basis of individual variability and drug vulnerability.