Flies that are able to fly respond very differently to visual stimuli than flies which have been experimentally manipulated to not be able to fly: what are the neural mechanisms underlying this flexibility?
Biogenic amines are involved in almost all biological processes. They modulate perception, motivation and locomotion. The fruit fly Drosophila is an ideal model system to tease apart the neuronal populations mediating the aminergic effects. Using Drosophila neurogenetics, we are beginning to characterize the octopaminergic subpopulations involved in walking speed and in the motivation of sugar responsiveness.
The Radish gene product is an enigmatic protein with no known function or homology. This bioinformatics approach aims to bring some light into this mystery and find out what this gene is doing.
Protein Kinase C (PKC) has recently been shown to be specifically involved in operant self-learning, but not in other forms of operant learning or in classical learning. This project aims to identify the neural circuits in the fly brain where PKC is required during operant self-learning.
Testing fruit flies for their spontaneous turning behavior in tethered flight.
We treat fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) with Ritalin and test for the behavioral effects of the drug. In a collaboration with Daniela Dieterich from the Leibniz Institut for Neurobiology in Magdeburg we also investigate the change in protein expression after the drug treatment.
In Buridan’s paradigm, wingless flies walk on a platform surrounded by water. We developed fly tracking software, data evaluation software and made the whole package available under an open source license.