The ability to adjust one’s actions based on past experience (learning) and retain the value of past actions (memory) is one of the most complex, fascinating, and mysterious processes mediated by the animal brain. Fundamental questions remain about the precise contribution of individual neurons to learning, as well as the nature and complexity of interactions across neural circuits implicated in learning. Our lab aims to address these questions by recording and manipulating activity throughout an entire vertebrate brain while an animal actively engages in exploration and learning. Using the latest advances in optogenetics and microscopy, we will identify and selectively manipulate the neural circuitry that underlies learning in larval zebrafish, as well as develop novel high throughput learning paradigms for pharmacological and genetic screening.
Selected Publications -
- Li JM*, Robson DN*, Uchida N, Engert F, Schier AF. Brain-wide imaging reveals lateralized neural dynamics in operant learning. (In revision)
- Schoppik D, Isaac BH, Prober DA, Douglass AD, Robson DN, Li JM, Greenwood J, Soucy E, Engert F, Schier AF. Asymmetric Neural Anatomy Underlies Specialized Oculomotor Behavior (in revision)
- Lacoste A, Schoppik D, Robson DN, Haesemeyer M, Portugues R, Li JM, Engert F, Schier AFA parallel and essential interneuron pathway for Mauthner cell mediated escapes. (in press Current Biology)
- Ahrens MB, Orger MB, Robson DN, Li JM, Keller PJ. Whole-brain functional imaging at cellular resolution using light-sheet microscopy. Nat Methods. 2013 May;10(5):413-20
- Bianco IH, Ma LH, Schoppik D, Robson DN, Orger MB, Beck JC, Li JM, Schier AF, Engert F, Baker R. The tangential nucleus controls a gravito-inertial vestibulo-ocular reflex. Curr Biol. 2012 Jul 24;22(14):1285-95
- Ahrens MB, Li JM, Orger MB, Robson DN, Schier AF, Engert F, Portugues R. Brain-wide neuronal dynamics during motor adaptation in zebrafish. Nature. 2012 May 9;485(7399):471-7