Paul Katz was awarded a Collaborative Research Grant from NSF. The three-year award titled, “Higher-order processing in a peripheral neural structure of a nudibranch mollusc” is in collaboration with Jeff Lichtman at Harvard University. A tenet of neuroscience is that higher-order computations are performed by neural circuits in the central nervous system (CNS), not the peripheral nervous system (PNS). However, this might not be universally true for all types of animals. This project examines whether olfactory processing circuitry in a mollusc is found in the PNS rather than the CNS, as it is in other animal phyla such as vertebrates and insects. The project uses the nudibranch mollusc, Berghia stephanieae, which is a charismatic lab-grown species that is an inexpensive alternative to many other neuroscience laboratory species, thereby increasing access to research for students.
Department of Biology