Fruit flies are highly visual creatures, and their brains are complex enough to support many interesting visually-guided behaviors but also not as complicated to study as the brains of larger lab animals. We are interested in understanding how the fruit fly brain processes visual stimuli to detect useful information, such as motion and contrast. We are particularly interested in finding out how different neurons in the visual system process information, and what molecular "parts" allow them to do their jobs. To get at these questions, we do experiments such as two-photon imaging of live fly brains, which basically means we show the fruit flies a movie and use a microscope to image their brain activity at the same time.
Speaker: Michelle Pang, Stanford
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