Neural Circuits

Max Planck Research Group

We focuse on adaptive neural circuits underlying sensorimotor integration.

Research Focus

We focuse on adaptive neural circuits underlying sensorimotor integration.

We use optical microscopy techniques, such as two-photon calcium imaging, as well as patch-clamp recordings to understand how neural networks in the brain change over time, from single synapses to entire circuits, and how these changes relate to behavior. Our research focuses on the model organism Drosophila melanogaster where genetically identified, comprehensive neural networks underlying adaptive behaviors can be studied. We interpret data from our experiments using computational modeling of the dynamics of single cells as well as neural networks. Molecular, structural, and functional similarities of neural circuits across species suggest that insights gained in the fly brain will also contribute to our understanding of the mammalian brain.

In a second line of research we apply and develop novel optical microscopy methods with the aim of optimizing the temporal as well as spatial resolution of functional imaging in animals engaged in virtual reality behavior.