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Misha Ahrens investigates how large neuronal populations collaborate to enable flexible behavior in animals. Using zebrafish as a model organism, Ahrens and his multidisciplinary team use modern microscopy, computational approaches, quantitative studies of behavior, genetic profiling, and electron microscopy to work towards a holistic understanding of the brain and behavior. They develop experimental and analytical approaches to map – in real and virtual reality environments – how different areas of the central nervous system work together to enable flexible behavior, such as motor learning, behavioral state switching, and associative learning. The team also investigates brain-wide circuit mechanisms, including communication between astrocytes and neurons, underlying such behaviors.