Current Research
Neural Circuit Function in Drosophila Mating Behavior

Barry Dickson wants to understand how information processing in defined neural circuits generates complex animal behaviors. At any given moment, an organism must integrate external and internal sensory information, use previous experience to interpret it, make decisions, and then act. Dickson and his team use Drosophila fruit fly’s mating behaviors, such as courtship song and pheromone signaling, as a model system to study these processes. They employ genetic tools to identify and manipulate the relevant neurons and circuits in the fly brain, with the goal of establishing causal relationships between genes, cellular biochemistry, circuit function, and animal behavior.

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