The Multidimensional Brain

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Neuro-PSI Conference on February 9th

On Friday, February 9th at 11:00, Simon G. Sprecher, Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, will give a talk
« Lessons from simple brains : insights into sensory coding principles. »


Invited by Daniel Vasiliauskas
- See the pdf

Abstract :

Neural circuits in the brain have the striking ability to encode sensory information with high precision, but also to adapt and modulate synaptic activity to allow memories to be formed. Cellular complexity in circuit organization is often a major obstacle when attempting to understand these processes. A comparably low number of neurons and powerful genetics allows us to tackle in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster fundamental topics in neuroscience with unprecedented precision. We combine connectomics, behavioural studies and in vivo live imaging to decipher visual and gustatory coding principles. Genetic manipulations with single-cell resolution allowed us to identify molecular mechanisms of multimodal and multisensory coding, supporting the existence of previously unknown gustatory coding principles. Similarly, by identifying the synaptic circuit map of the visual system and underlying function of individual neurons for visually guided behaviours we depict how spatial and temporal information is encoded, highlighting general principles of visual information processing.

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