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Vivek Jayaraman wants to understand how animals act flexibly, relying on current context and past experiences to achieve desirable outcomes. Jayaraman and his team study how the Drosophila brain constructs internal representations of the fly’s whereabouts, internal state, and actions, and links these representations to memories of positive and negative consequences so the fly can make appropriate behavioral decisions. The team uses a combination of optical and electrophysiological recordings, optogenetics, electron microscopy, quantitative behavior, and theoretical and computational techniques to understand the organization and dynamics of the relevant brain circuits.