Aram Megighian

1988 MD degree (University of Padua)
1992 Residency in Neurology (University of Padua)
1996-1997 Research Scientist Dep of Biology (San Diego State University, USA)
1992-2010 Assistant Professor in Physiology
1997- Adjunct Professor Dep of Biology (San Diego State University, USA)
2010- Associate Professor in Physiology (DBS, University of Padua)

Research interest

Nervous system function is dedicated to translate, generate and process informations in a binary code based on neuronal electrical response: action potential.
These binary coded informations are exchanged from one neuron to the other connected by synapses in both simple and complex circuits. Eventually these informations are processed generating behavior, i.e. the “total movements made by the intact animal” (Tinbergen, 1955) or  “the internally coordinated responses (actions or inactions) of whole organisms (individuals or groups) to internal and/or external stimuli, excluding responses more easily understood as developmental changes” (Levitis et al. 2009)

The aim of our research is to understand:

  • how neuronal informations are transferred from one neuron to the other by synaptic activity
  • how synaptic activity processes and modifies neuronal informations trasnferred from one neuron to the other
  • how synaptic activity could regulate information processing of complex circuits like those involved the higher or elaborated brain functions regulating behavior.
  • the evolutive maintained nervous circuits regulating adaptative behaviors sharing similar cognitive processes.

To reach this aim we utilize as animal model the fruitfly, in which

  • it is possible to genetically modify the main actors of the evolutionarily maintained molecular nanomachine regulating synaptic activity
  • analyse the electrical response of a single synapse or a simple nervous circuit
  • analyse different elaborated behaviors generated by the activity of complex neuronal circuits.
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