Linking Vision and Action in Drosophila


April 15, 2014 - 1:00pm
NW 243
About the Speaker
Vivek Jayaraman (Janelia Farm)

Over the past few years, my lab has been studying the workings of a region in the middle of the insect brain called the central complex. By studying circuit function in a numerically simpler model system with powerful genetic tools, we hope to uncover basic algorithmic principles of adaptive sensorimotor integration. Studies from many labs and in different insects have implicated the central complex in a broad range of functions from sun-compass navigation to locomotion to sleep. In flies, behavioral genetics work has suggested that the region is required for short- and long-term visual memory, motor control and spatial navigation, among other things. We are using a combination of techniques to probe the role that the central complex might play in these behaviors. I will focus in particular on our early results from experiments using physiology in head-fixed flying flies and flies walking on a ball.