Dr. Tod R. Theile, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough
Talk Title: Structure and function of sensorimotor circuits underlying visual behaviours of larval zebrafish
Brain & Behaviour Seminar Series 2015-2016
Reception to follow in the Psychology Lounge, room 4043, Sidney Smith Hall
Abstract: Miniature marvels: Unraveling vertebrate sensorimotor circuits using larvalzebrafish"A fundamental activity of the brain is to transform sensory information intogoal-directed movements. We still possess only a rudimentary understandingof how the brain performs sensorimotor transformations despite theirnecessity to virtually all of our daily activities. Technological advancesin systems neuroscience and zebrafish research over the past decade presentan unprecedented opportunity to define how brain circuitry gives rise tovertebrate behaviour. In my talk, I will describe research thatcharacterized multiple microcircuits in larval fish that contribute tovisually mediated actions. These include circuits in retinorecipient regionsdedicated to prey capture as well as premotor circuitry that controlspostural steering during swims. Analysis of both of these networks supportsthe existence of highly modular neural architectures in vertebrates. I willalso discuss future plans for my laboratory at the University of TorontoScarborough where we will use functional imaging, optogenetics andbehavioural analyses to investigate circuits that govern the selection ofbehavioural motor programs.
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