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Dierk F. Reiff (Dept. for Neurobiology / Animal Physiology, Institute Biology I, University Freiburg) | Neural circuits underlying visual processing and behavior in Drosophila: Recent progress and future perspectives

When Jan 31, 2012
from 05:15 PM to 06:45 PM
Where Lecture Hall, Hansastr. 9a
Contact Name Ad Aertsen
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Neurogenetic tools for the monitoring as well as perturbation of neuronal function enable the identification and functional dissection of small neuronal circuits in genetically amenable experimental animals. At this time, we investigate the optic lobe and early visual processing in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, employing a combined genetic and physiological approach. 60% of the neurons of the fly brain are dedicated to visual processing and contribute to innate and learned behaviors that warrant survival of the animal. Whole cell patch-clamp recordings and functional 2-Photon-Laser-Scanning Microscopy are being used to elucidate the cellular mechanisms underlying visual motion detection. As a novel focus of the lab, we currently establish an experimental framework for the functional dissection of color vision. Supposed neurons of both circuitries are genetically targeted and manipulated to reveal the cellular and biophysical mechanisms underlying characterized processing steps in identified neurons. In the long run, behavioral paradigms will be combined with the above mentioned perturbation. This way we aim at identifying the function of known populations of neurons in specific computations as well as their role in the control of behavior, i.e. interactions of the fly with its environment.


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