This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Neuroscience and Biology. However, the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Biology.
With this research project, we will examine olfactory behavior following a brain lesion in zebrafish.
The olfactory system allows organisms to detect odor signals and interact with their environment, mediating survival. The olfactory system of zebrafish presents a remarkable degree of regeneration and neuroplasticity, making it an ideal model for the study of regeneration and repair mechanisms following injury and disease.
Lesions of the olfactory system produce neuron loss and degeneration, followed by complete neuronal regeneration and repair. It is not yet known if this olfactory system degeneration causes olfactory dysfunction.
We aim to answer the following question:
Does injury to the olfactory bulb results in olfactory dysfunction and alterations in olfactory-mediated behavior?
To answer this, we will study the timeline of olfactory function following lesion and during recovery. We will use olfactory behavioral tasks and specialized software that allows for registering and analyzing animal behavior.