The objectives of this research project are to train the student in multidisciplinary techniques of biological systems preparation in the neuroscience studies field and to explore an open question about autonomous neural microcircuits. The student will make a systematic study of the effects of temperature in the periodical rhythm of food pumping produced by the neurons of the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion (STG).During the execution of this research project, the student will use a device for keeping the craps of Callinectes sapidus species in a fixed position and make "in vivo" and non-invasive experiments, that will measure the effects of the animal's body temperature and the stomach temperature in the pattern of muscle contraction produced by the pyloric neuronal circuit of STG. For this, the student will build a simple endoscope and a device to inject a small flow of water at a controlled temperature into the animal stomach. The endoscope is composed of the water cannula, temperatures sensors and optical fibers and will allow to measure the oscillations in the intensity of a beam of light reflected by the internal muscles of the stomach due to its movement as a function of the stomach temperature. A light sensor will be adapted to measure those oscillations using a data acquisition system. In addition, the student will learn classical techniques of data analysis, such as power spectrum and correlation functions.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: