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CIRCUITS

CIRCUITS is a multipurpose neuroscience and behavioural neurosciences suite of laboratories, used for both teaching and student led research projects.

It houses advanced research equipment such as fluorescent microscopes, behavioural tracking equipment, immunohistochemical equipment, psychophysiology equipment and virtual reality (occulus rift glasses).

The CIRCUITS laboratory consists of a general-purpose laboratory that is centrally placed within the suite, providing access to a series of specialist rooms immediately adjacent to this space. These consist of laboratories that are equipped for behavioural research including: research with fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster); molecular neuroscience research, such as immunohistochemistry and fluorescent imaging; neuroendocrine work to investigate markers of stress, inflammation and other biochemicals. We also are equipped for psychophysiology and virtual reality work in human participants as the lab also houses a small psychophysiological testing facility.

The general-purpose laboratory can be used for teaching small groups specialist laboratory techniques, for student led collaborative research projects and for staff research. Adjacent to this central space are a few smaller specialist laboratories. These consist of facilities for fruit fly husbandry under differing environmental conditions (eg different temperatures), a behaviour room containing a rig setup to monitor and analyse behaviour; with a Basler camera to film fruit flies’ in novel arenas under differing conditions (both environmental, physiological and pharmacological) and computerised software to analyse the resultant behaviours (Noldus.com: Ethovision 14TX- (tracksys.com)).

There is also a histology laboratory containing equipment for fluorescent imaging work, such as: a state of the art Leica fluorescent imaging microscope, a dissection microscope with a facility for two people to view the dissection (used to teach dissection techniques to staff and students) and several other dissection microscopes. These fluorescent imaging facilities can be configured to investigate an array of topics, including: the expression of interneurons in mouse models of disease states as well as to investigate the expression and distribution of various neurochemicals in fruit fly brains.

We also have facilities to take endocrine measurements from blood, saliva and other tissues to allow investigation of the stress responses mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis or the sympathetic-adreno-medullary axis (SAM) as well as other biochemicals (state of the art Enspire plate readers (Perkin Elmer.com) for UV/Vis, IR and fluorescent light; centrifuge, class two cabinet). Alongside this we are also equipment for human psychophysiology measurement (Biopac MP160 and cardiology equipment such as the Niccomo (medis.com) under varying conditions including in virtual reality environments (Occulus rift).

Currently we have interests in translational neuroscience research in areas such as behavioural anxiety, ageing and the effects of global warming, as a result of climate change, in fruit flies. This work involves fluorescent imaging investigating the pathways in the fruit fly brains linked to these differing behavioural paradigms. We also have work investigating the reward pathways in animal models of disorders, such as autistic spectrum disorder, epilepsy and frontotemporal dementia. These models are being investigated using mouse brain slices, advanced electrophysiological techniques, such as multielectrode array recordings and advanced multi-labelling immunohistochemical techniques.

There is also an interest in human psychophysiology and neuroendocrine responses such as salivary cortisol and markers of inflammation such as cytokines in response to differing behavioural and pharmacological paradigms.

Detailed Information

Kit List

  • This suite of laboratories houses a variety of equipment for our teaching and research needs including: Leica Fluorescent imaging microscope and computer; Leica fly pushing microscope; Leica dissection microscope with reverse phase contrast and extra arm for teaching students to carry out dissections; behavioural rig with Basler camera; behavioural testing arenas that are IR transmissible and fit into an IR light box to allow monitoring of fly behaviour; behavioural analysis software (Noldus 14TX) for testing fruit flies under varying conditions; incubators to house the flies; 10 dissecting teaching microscopes; two PE Enspire multimode plate readers; a Biopac MP 160; occulus rift VR glasses; CED electrophysiology equipment.
  • As expected, it also houses all the necessary basic laboratory equipment including but not limited to Gilson pipettes; microfuges; class II lamina flow cabinet; bench top refrigerated centrifuge; incubators for housing and testing the fruit flies; Scales and measures; rocker plates.

Availability

10.00am to 4.00pm.

Location

The CIRCUITS can be found in 028, 024, 033, 032, 031 and 029 of the Darwin Building

General Enquiry