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NB & CNS Seminar - Gul Dolen | Tuesday, April 25th, 2023 4 pm

Tuesday, April 25, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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"Reopening critical periods with psychedelics: basic mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities"
Gul Dolen, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, John Hopkins University,
NB & CNS Seminar

Tuesday, April 25th, 2023

Reception: 3:30 pm

Seminar: 4 pm

Speaker: Gul Dolen

Assistant Professor, John Hopkins University

Faculty Host: Viviana Gradinaru

Title: "Reopening critical periods with psychedelics: basic mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities"
Abstract: Psychedelics are a broad class of drugs defined by their ability to induce an altered state of consciousness. These drugs have been used for millennia in both spiritual and medicinal contexts, and a number of recent clinical successes have spurred a renewed interest in developing psychedelic therapies. Nevertheless, a unifying mechanism that can account for these shared phenomenological and therapeutic properties remains unknown. Dr. Dölen will present evidence that the ability to reopen the social reward learning critical period is a shared property across psychedelics. Interestingly, the time course of critical period reopening is proportional to the duration of acute subjective effects reported in humans. Furthermore, the ability to reinstate social reward learning in adulthood is paralleled by metaplastic restoration of oxytocin mediated long-term depression (OT-LTD) in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc). Finally, identification of differentially expressed genes in the ‘open state' versus ‘closed state', provides evidence that reorganization of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a common downstream mechanism underlying psychedelic mediated critical period reopening. Together these results have significant implications for the implementation of psychedelics in clinical practice, as well as the design of novel compounds for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease.