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Department of Zoology


A universal feature in animal behavior is the transition between different actions in response to external and internal conditions. These behavioral choices are learned or innate actions in response to sensory modalities from different circuits throughout the nervous system.

I have developed a method to study neuronal dynamics throughout the entire central nervous system of small animals with single cell resolution. Importantly, this technique allows this data to be combined with synaptic connectivity maps from electron microscopy volumes. These data are necessary to mechanistically study complex neuronal circuit mechanisms from multiple sensory inputs to motor output.

Now I am using this method to identify neurons which promote and evoke behavioral transitions and suppress competing neuronal circuits in the complete brain of Drosophila melanogaster larva.

Answering those questions will provide us with a better understanding of how the brain can integrate information and make appropriate behavioral choices.

Research Associate
Dr Nadine Randel

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