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Biology Department Colloquium

March 20, 2017 from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM

“Blowing in the wind: neural circuits mediating orientation to wind direction in Drosophila”

Next Monday (March 20) at 4:00PM in Life Sciences Building room G11, Dr. Kathy Nagel from NYU will be speaking at the Biology Department Colloquium series.

          Dr. Nagel is an exceptionally talented scientist whose research program combines computational modeling, electrophysiology, transgenics and behavioral studies to explore how neural network interactions and synaptic plasticity contribute to the coding of natural stimulus dynamics. The abstract for Dr. Nagel's talk is included below.  I hope to see you there!

“Blowing in the wind: neural circuits mediating orientation to wind direction in Drosophila”

Abstract:

Insects use wind direction as a major cue for orientation and navigation.  For example, detection of wind direction is critical to the way that nearly all insects locate the source of attractive food and mate odors in their environments.  Insects sense wind using stretch receptors in their antennae, but the central neural circuits mediating discrimination of wind direction are unknown.  We have identified putative second- and third order neurons encoding wind direction information.  We find that that second-order neurons encode the position of the ipsilateral antenna, while third-order neurons combine information nonlinearly across the antennae to increase their dynamic range and their ability to discriminate between directions.  Ongoing behavioral experiments suggest that neurons in this pathway are important for orientation to wind direction in walking flies."