S2  Neuronal circuit mechanisms of socio-sexual behavior

Constanze Lenschow (Lisbon, Portugal) and Jean Simonnet (Berlin)

Live Discussion: Monday, March 22, 2021, 17:00 - 18:00h

Social and instinctive behaviors, like sexual behavior, maternal care, social touch or play behavior are crucial for species survival and fitness; they are tightly linked to the animal’s internal state and their adequate expression depends on experience. Social systems neuroscience uses state-of-the-art tools allowing to map, manipulate and record from molecularly defined cell circuits, in order to understand the neurobiological substrate of social behaviors. The field attracted remarkable attention in the last decade since social cognition and socio-sexual behavior impairments are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. This symposium centers on recent advances made by leading experts and young researchers, covering topics ranging from structure, function and development of social and instinctive behaviors.
Yan Tang will tell us about his PhD with Valery Grinevich, during which he studied social touch between female rats and how the hormone oxytocin may modulate a hypothalamic microcircuitry triggering social motivation.
Susana Lima will show how sensory stimuli contribute to the timely execution of male sexual behavior. Constanze Lenschow, postdoc in Susana’s lab, will specifically show how the peripheral nervous system is able to integrate and use the incoming sexual-touch information in order to trigger ejaculation. Jonny Kohl will tell us more about the neuronal circuits underlying parental behavior and their state-dependent modulations. The appropriate expression of social behaviors in adulthood strongly depends on early life experiences such as the occurrence of play behaviors. Jean Simonnet, postdoc from Michael Brecht's lab, elaborates on how the activity of midbrain neurons is modulated during social play. To finish, and broaden the symposium's scope towards a more ecological perspective we will hear Inga Petelski, a PhD student from Einat Couzin-Fuchs’ lab. She asks how social and food odor signals are integrated and combined in neural circuits, and how it influences collective feeding behaviors in Locusts swarms.

The Göttingen Meeting gratefully acknowledges the financial support of loopbio.
S2-1 Yan Tang, Prilly, Switzerland
Social touch promotes interfemale communication via activation of parvocellular oxytocin neurons

S2-2 Susana Lima, Lisbon, Portugal
Neural mechanisms underlying sexual behavior

S2-3 Constanze Lenschow, Lisbon, Portugal
Anatomical and functional characterization of the spinal circuits underlying ejaculation

S2-4 Johannes Kohl, London, United Kingdom
Circuits for care - neural control of parental behavior

S2-5 Jean Simonnet, Berlin, Germany
Neural correlates of play behavior in midbrain circuits

S2-6  Inga Petelski, Friedrichshafen, Germany
Sensory integration and movement decision in swarm forming locusts