Theoretical/computational neurosicence

Human Psychophysics Lab

fMRI Lab

Zebrafish Lab

Rodent Lab

Zebrafish Lab

Theoretical/computational neurosicence

Human Psychophysics Lab

fMRI Lab

Zebrafish Lab

Rodent Lab

Zebrafish Lab

Zebrafish Lab

Lab Interests

How do animals decide what parts of the environment are important - and how do they do it so quickly? Our senses drive our interactions with the world, but our sensory organs produce far more data than could ever be analyzed in full. Further complicating the problem, many sensory stimuli are entirely irrelevant and require no response, and as such survival is best enhanced by attending only to relevant cues. To overcome this sensory bottleneck, the brain evolved methods for directing attention to salient objects without the need for higher-order feedback that is costly when a rapid reaction is required. While empirically testing the underlying neural mechanisms behind visual attention selection in mammals has been historically challenging due to technical limitations, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) is perhaps an ideal model system for interrogating visual computations.

They exhibit a range of visual behaviors very early in life, possess evolutionarily conserved regions of the brain dedicated to visual computation, and are amenable to live imaging using genetically encoded fluorescent indicators of neuronal activity. By four days post fertilization, zebrafish larvae begin to pursue and capture prey, requiring the rapid selection of targets and subsequent orienting to the prey. However, the stimulus features governing visual target selection in non-mammalian vertebrates are not fully described. Despite the clear advantages of using zebrafish to study the neural mechanisms of behavior, attentional behavior is poorly studied compared to the vast literature on such topics in primates and other mammals. Therefore, to characterize visual attention we analyze a combination of both naturalistic prey capture behavior and responses to artificial stimuli. Our zebrafish research group uses novel behavioral experiments, transgenics, and live neuronal imaging to investigate how the brain uses visual information to guide adaptive behavior.

Current Projects

Zebrafish larvae rely on their sense of vision for navigating the environment and hunting. Using a combination of natural and artificial stimuli, we can better understand how the brain generates adaptive behavioral responses based on specific features of visual input.

Collaborations

Lab Interests

The Department for Sensory and Sensorimotor Systems, located since October 2018 at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics, is headed by Prof. Li Zhaoping. Our research in neuroscience aims to discover and understand how the brain receives and encodes the sensory input (vision, audition, tactile sensation, and olfaction) and processes the information to direct body movements as well as to make cognitive decisions. The research is highly interdisciplinary, and uses theoretical as well as experimental approaches, including human psychophysics and animal behavior, fMRI, electrophysiology and computational modelling to answer questions for example about visual illusions, attention, object recognition and saliency.

The fish research sub-group plans to conduct behavioral experiments in free swimming and immobilized larvae of the zebra fish Danio rerio to measure kinetic parameters (eye position, eye speed, tail strokes) of the eye and swimming movements of the animals.

Current Projects

Zebrafish larvae rely on their sense of vision for navigating the environment and hunting. Using a combination of natural and artificial stimuli, we can better understand how the brain generates adaptive behavioral responses based on specific features of visual input.

Collaborations

Lab Interests

The Department for Sensory and Sensorimotor Systems, located since October 2018 at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics, is headed by Prof. Li Zhaoping. Our research in neuroscience aims to discover and understand how the brain receives and encodes the sensory input (vision, audition, tactile sensation, and olfaction) and processes the information to direct body movements as well as to make cognitive decisions. The research is highly interdisciplinary, and uses theoretical as well as experimental approaches, including human psychophysics and animal behavior, fMRI, electrophysiology and computational modelling to answer questions for example about visual illusions, attention, object recognition and saliency.

The fish research sub-group plans to conduct behavioral experiments in free swimming and immobilized larvae of the zebra fish Danio rerio to measure kinetic parameters (eye position, eye speed, tail strokes) of the eye and swimming movements of the animals.

Current Projects

Zebrafish larvae rely on their sense of vision for navigating the environment and hunting. Using a combination of natural and artificial stimuli, we can better understand how the brain generates adaptive behavioral responses based on specific features of visual input.

Collaborations

Natural Intelligence Labs

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Natural Intelligence Labs

© 2019, Natural Intelligence Labs

Imprint Data Privacy

Natural Intelligence Labs

© 2019, Natural Intelligence Labs

Imprint Data Privacy