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Neural circuits for learning and memory in fly larvae

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Animals integrate a variety of sensory inputs with their memories of past events and with their internal state to select an appropriate behavioral response. We use the Drosophila larval central nervous system to study how the nervous system, operating as a unified whole, successfully choses and executes an action while suppressing others. I will describe the electron-microscopy reconstructed, synaptic-level circuits from sensory neurons to higher order brain centers, and the convergence of multiple brain regions to high-order premotor centers that also integrate the re-afferent, proprioceptive inputs. In particular I will discuss the structure and our current understanding, based on circuits and optophysiological data, of the mushroom body circuits that underlie learning and memory in this insect, and how the mushroom body interacts with a center associated with innate behaviors such as the lateral horn.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Fly Meetings series.

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