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  1. Vision to Action

    Our goal is to understand how the brain integrates sensory information and selects and executes appropriate actions. In particular, we aim to determine the organization and function of neural circuits underlying visually guided behaviors. We use the zebrafish as a model organism because it allows us to visualize and manipulate activity in neural circuits throughout a vertebrate brain. As early as one week post-fertilization, zebrafish display a rich repertoire of innate visual behaviors, following moving patterns, avoiding predators and tracking and capturing live prey. With no skull and transparent skin, the entire volume of the brain can be imaged non-invasively in one field of view, and many neurons are individually identifiable from fish to fish. Our approach has three main themes: 1) Quantitative analysis of behavior. 2) Whole brain imaging of neural activity dynamics in the behaving animal. 3) Perturbation of identified neurons to reveal their role in sensorimotor integration. In parallel, we are developing new genetic tools that allow more specific targeting and manipulation of identified cell types.

Latest Publications

  • Drugowitsch J, Mendonça A, Mainen ZF, Pouget A (2019) Learning optimal decisions with confidence Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116 (49)
  • Pardo-Vazquez JL, Castiñeiras-de Saa JR, Valente M, Damião I, Costa T, Vicente MI, Mendonça AG, Mainen ZF, Renart A (2019) The mechanistic foundation of Weber's law Nat. Neurosci. 22 (9)
  • Maia, A.; Oliveira, J.; Lajnef, M.; Mallet, L.; Tamouza, R.; Leboye, M.; Oliveira-Maia, A. J. (2019) Oxidative and nitrosative stress markers in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis Acta Psychiatr Scand
  • Brugada-Ramentol, Victoria; Clemens, Ivar; de Polavieja, Gonzalo G. (2019) Active control as evidence in favor of sense of ownership in the moving Virtual Hand Illusion
  • Rao-Ruiz, Priyanka; Couey, Jonathan J.; Marcelo, Ivo M.; Bouwkamp, Christian G.; Slump, Denise E.; Matos, Mariana R.; van der Loo, Rolinka J.; Martins, Gabriela J.; van den Hout, Mirjam; van IJcken, Wilfred F.; Costa, Rui M.; van den Oever, Michel C.; Kus (2019) Engram-specific transcriptome profiling of contextual memory consolidation Nat Commun