The ability to learn and remember is a critical survival skill whether you are a human or a fly. This proposal will exploit the behavioral and genetic richness of Drosophila to define and understand neuronal circuits that link sleep and memory. Humans spend roughly one third of their lives asleep. Amazingly, there is no consensus on why we and other animals sleep, only agreement that without sleep our brains do not function optimally. One recurring finding, with convincing data from humans, mammalian model systems, and Drosophila is that sleep is required for effective memory formation. We will investigate the role of the circadian clock in both sleep (Specific Aim #1) and memory formation (Specific Aim #2) using cell specific manipulations that alter neuronal excitability. We will identify and characterize the activity of cells that are downstream of the clock that generate sleep (Specific Aim #3).

Public Health Relevance

Lack of sleep is an increasingly serious human health problem in western society. Studies of the the linkage between sleep and memory in Drosophila will provide insight into how sleep affects learning in humans.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Study Section (LAM)
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Asanuma, Chiiko
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Brandeis University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Vecsey, Christopher G; Pirez, Nicolas; Griffith, Leslie C (2014) The Drosophila neuropeptides PDF and sNPF have opposing electrophysiological and molecular effects on central neurons. J Neurophysiol 111:1033-45
Griffith, Leslie C (2014) Up all night on a redeye flight. Elife 3:e02087
Chi, Michael W; Griffith, Leslie C; Vecsey, Christopher G (2014) Larval Population Density Alters Adult Sleep in Wild-Type Drosophila melanogaster but Not in Amnesiac Mutant Flies. Brain Sci 4:453-70
Shang, Yuhua; Donelson, Nathan C; Vecsey, Christopher G et al. (2013) Short neuropeptide F is a sleep-promoting inhibitory modulator. Neuron 80:171-83
Pirez, Nicolas; Christmann, Bethany L; Griffith, Leslie C (2013) Daily rhythms in locomotor circuits in Drosophila involve PDF. J Neurophysiol 110:700-8
Griffith, Leslie C (2013) Neuromodulatory control of sleep in Drosophila melanogaster: integration of competing and complementary behaviors. Curr Opin Neurobiol 23:819-23
Ni, Lina; Bronk, Peter; Chang, Elaine C et al. (2013) A gustatory receptor paralogue controls rapid warmth avoidance in Drosophila. Nature 500:580-4
Pulver, Stefan R; Hornstein, Nicholas J; Land, Bruce L et al. (2011) Optogenetics in the teaching laboratory: using channelrhodopsin-2 to study the neural basis of behavior and synaptic physiology in Drosophila. Adv Physiol Educ 35:82-91
Griffith, Leslie C (2011) Circadian biology: the supporting cast takes on a starring role. Curr Biol 21:R313-4
Shang, Yuhua; Haynes, Paula; Pirez, Nicolas et al. (2011) Imaging analysis of clock neurons reveals light buffers the wake-promoting effect of dopamine. Nat Neurosci 14:889-95

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