The neurobiology of spontaneous actions and operant learning in Drosophila
by Björn Brembs, Professor at Universität Regensburg on Mar 05, 2009
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Learning about the consequences of our actions (operant learning) is one of the major ways in which we learn to understand the world we live in. Despite our recent advances in the neurobiology of ...
Learning about the consequences of our actions (operant learning) is one of the major ways in which we learn to understand the world we live in. Despite our recent advances in the neurobiology of learning and memory, this “learning-by-doing” has largely withstood neurobiological scrutiny. This proposal aims to elucidate the molecular and neurobiological mechanisms of spontaneous behavioral choice and how decision-making is modulated by the consequences of such actions. This research will be done in a genetically amenable model system, the fruit fly Drosophila. We will use state-of-the-art genetic and behavioral techniques to identify the circuitry and molecular processes involved in generating spontaneous turning behavior and its modulation by operant learning. Operant learning is only one system among many which govern the organization of behavior. The long-term prospect of this research beyond this application is to understand how multiple memory systems interact to accomplish adaptive behavioral choice and decision-making.
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