Tuesday, May 16th: Neural computations directing chemotaxis in Drosophila

Event Date: 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 4:00pm

Event Date Details: 

Refreshments served at 3:40 pm.

Event Location: 

  • Broida Hall
  • ROOM 1640
  • Physics Colloquium

Behavioral strategies employed for chemotaxis have been studied across phyla, but the neural computations underlying odor-guided behaviors remain poorly understood. By combining electrophysiology, quantitative behavioral analysis and computational modeling, we explore how dynamical olfactory signals experienced during unconstrained motion are processed by the peripheral olfactory system of the fruit fly Drosophila larva. We exploit virtual olfactory environments created based on optogenetics to study how this information is converted into elementary orientation decisions. Our work clarifies the link between neural computations at the sensory periphery and the emergence of action selection enabling animals to navigate noisy odor gradients.

Matthieu Louis, UCSB