平成27年度 医学研セミナー

Molecular evolution of language and cognition

− この都医学研セミナーは終了しました。 −

演者 Genevieve Konopka(University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center  Assistant Professor)
会場 東京都医学総合研究所 2階講堂
日時 平成27年9月28日(月) 16:00〜17:00
世話人 新井 誠 研究員(統合失調症プロジェクト)
参加自由 詳細は下記問合せ先まで
お問い合わせ 研究推進課 普及広報係


The evolution of the human brain has led to an increased vulnerability to cognitive disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. These disorders include phenotypes such as dysfunction in language and communication. It is therefore interesting that the implementation of spoken language in humans is perhaps the only unique evolved characteristic of humans compared to other primates. However, while the molecular mechanisms and brain circuitry underlying speech and language in humans have likely expanded upon evolutionarily conserved circuitry for vocal communication most of these mechanisms and circuitry remain unknown. We are taking several approaches to identify the genes and molecular pathways important for both the evolution of these brain phenotypes as well as how they are disrupted in cognitive disorders. We are using a comparative genomics approach to identify human-specific gene coexpression signatures. We are also carrying out detailed mechanistic studies of single genes thought to be critical for vocal communication and cognition. Together, these approaches focus on human-relevant neuronal functions in order to develop improved therapies for disorders of cognition.