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Tuesday, February 25 2020
Room L1255, Ford Environmental Science & Technology Building, 311 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
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Sensing in a Dynamic World: What the Antennae of the Fruit Fly can Teach us about Sensation and the Perception of Movement

Marie Suver, Ph.D.
New York University Medical Center
NYU Neuroscience Institute

Normal behavior in any moving animal relies on communication between motor systems that control movements, and the sensory systems we use to guide these actions. A critical task for the brain is distinguishing between sensations created by our own actions from those caused by external sources. Yet the neural circuits that underlie these computations are generally not well understood. To understand these processes at the cellular, circuit and behavioral level, I study the small, tractable brain of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this presentation, I will describe current research focusing on the neural circuits that control movements and mechanosensation in the antennae of the fruit fly. First, I will describe a novel mechanosensory circuit that computes wind direction by combining information across the two antennae. Second, I will describe ongoing and future research that focuses on mechanisms of active sensing. Through this work, I aim to discover fundamental principles underlying the brain’s ability to make sense of its own movements through the world.

Host: Simon Sponberg, Ph.D.

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