Nencki Institute Seminar

Dear All

This Thursday April 22nd at 3pm, Anna Goncerzewicz, who is a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Ewelina Knapska the head of the Neurobiology of Emotions Lab and Marek Konarzewski from the Faculty of Biology at the University of Białystok, will give a lecture entitled:

Brain size, gut size and cognitive abilities: experimental evolution of energy trade-offs


The enlarged brains of homeotherms bring behavioural advantages, but also incur high energy expenditures. The ‘Expensive Brain’ (EB) hypothesis posits that the energetic costs of the enlarged brain and the resulting increased cognitive abilities (CA) were met either by increased energy turnover or reduced allocation to other expensive organs, such as the gut. We tested the directionality of the evolutionary relationships between energy expenditures, brain, gut and CA using an experimental evolution model in which we subjected line types of laboratory mice to artificial selection on basal (BMR) or maximum (VO2max) aerobic metabolism – traits that are implicated in evolution of homeothermy, having been pre-requisites for the encephalisation and exceptional CA of mammals, including humans. High-BMR mice had bigger guts, but not brains. Yet, they performed better on the cognitively demanding tasks carried out in both reward and avoidance learning contexts. Furthermore, the high BMR mice had higher neuronal plasticity (indexed as the long-term potentiation, LTP) than their counterparts. Our data indicate that the evolutionary increase of CA in mammals was initially associated with increased BMR and brain plasticity. It was also fueled by an enlarged gut, which was not traded off for brain size.

Please use the following zoom information:

Nencki Seminar


Meeting ID: 966 1729 0469
Passcode: 316107

Best regards,

Brain Imaging Meeting

Dear Colleagues,

we would like to invite you to upcoming Brain Imaging Meeting organized by Laboratory of Brain Imaging (LOBI) and Laboratory of Language Neurobiology (LLN). The seminar will take place on Wednesday 21.04.2021 at 2.30 PM, via google meet platform under the link: https://meet.google.com/jgm-qefb-mre

During the meeting Marco Ninghetto, Msc – LOBI will present a talk entitled:

The 15 minutes of narrowing visual fields affects diameters of receptive fields in V1

Recently we showed that it is possible to measure simultaneously properties of central vision, the fine acuity, and of peripheral vision the motion perception. We designed a motion-acuity task based on discrimination between a circle and an ellipse matched for surface, build from random dot kinematograms (RDK). The two shapes were separated from the background RDK by the motion of dots by coherence, direction, or velocity. Motion was carried in positive or negative contrast. We found that the velocity-based acuity task in negative contrast was most challenging as compared to positive contrast (Kozak et al., 2021). A bigger number of neurons with small receptive fields process the fine details of the objects presented at the center of the visual field, while the peripheral receptive fields with wider diameter, are sensitive to motion in negative contrast. The size of receptive field is not stable over time, and it is primarily shaped during the development and successively by experience and events. To gain insight into the dynamics of the rearrangement when the peripheral vision is missing, we narrowed visual fields for a short amount of time (15 minutes), leaving intact 10 visual degrees of central vision. We noticed that the significant differences in receptive field diameter between hemispheres were unified when the peripheries were excluded. Despite the individual discrepancies, we demonstrated a significant shift of spared narrow foveal receptive fields to wider diameters after limiting visual stimulation. Further, we found a correlation between the size of receptive fields and motion-acuity thresholds: the increase of receptive field diameter correlates with lower acuity in negative contrast velocity-acuity task. With these results, we are left with a main question: does narrowing the visual fields cause central receptive fields to acquire peripheral characteristics?

See you there!
Brain Imaging Meeting Team

SPARK Europe Webinar

Dear All,

Nencki Institute as a representative of SPARK Poland within the SPARK Europe would like to cordially invite you to participate in the next webinar of European SPARKs joint series on April 21st, 16-17 CET.

During the “Project and Process Management” webinar we will gain insight into the approaches to time and opportunity risk management, which are the most critical elements of project commercialization. The speaker who will share with us his experience is Juhani Lahdenperä, CEO of Biotech Start-Up Management and Board Member of BiopSense, consultant specialized in fundraising and business development.

The series of webinars is open for all students and employees of SPARK associated organizations (Nencki Institute PAS and International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw).

Registration to the webinar is required in advance. Please register at: https://tuni.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Yoc-murTMuHdwLNlnPlYte7irSB60m9PcW

latest on April 20th. With later registrations access cannot be guaranteed. There are a limited number of places available and they are filled in in the order of registration.

As a reminder, webinars will take place biweekly on Wednesday at 16 -17 CET and will cover topics from design thinking to challenges in selling complex high-tech products from top-quality speakers around Europe and the US.

Best regards,
Paulina Santus

Wykład „Nowe Oblicza Biochemii 2020/2021”

Zapraszamy do wysłuchania kolejnego wykładu w ramach serii „Nowe oblicza biochemii 2020/2021” zorganizowanej przez Polskie Towarzystwo Biochemiczne. Webinar on-line odbędzie się 29 kwietnia 2021r., o godz. 13:00.

Wykład (po polsku) wygłosi prof. Barbara Nawrot (Łódź): „Epitranskryptomika na poziomie tRNA”, Centrum Badań Molekularnych i Makromolekularnych PAN, Łódź

Osoby zainteresowane wykładem prosimy o rejestrację na platformie ZOOM WEBINAR: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Am4NICWNR3Kkm1_M2CbR9A
Jednocześnie informujemy, że wykład będzie transmitowany również przez LIVE streaming na portalu FACEBOOK Polskiego Towarzystwa Biochemicznego: https://www.facebook.com/ptbioch.
Polecamy skorzystanie z tej możliwości w przypadku, kiedy liczba słuchaczy na platformie ZOOM WEBINAR przekroczy 100 osób.