Neural circuits and behavior

Heisenberg Research Group — Prof. Dr. Johann Bollmann

Zebrafish visual system

Imaging structure and function in the zebrafish visual system (A) Eye and retino-tectal projection. (B) Retina, labeled with different fluorescent indicators. (C) GFP expression in optic tectum. (D) Fine structure of tectal lamination.

Sensory-controlled, goal-directed motor sequences are crucial for the survival of an animal. We aim at identifying fundamental neural mechanisms that enable an animal to rapidly analyze its sensory environment, to make behavioral decisions and to generate sequences of coordinated motor patterns. We use zebrafish as a neurobiological model for studying how these complex neural processing tasks are implemented in the vertebrate central nervous system. Our tools are multiphoton calcium imaging, single-cell recordings targeted at genetically defined neuronal cell types and analysis of synaptic connectivity from 3D electron microscopy.