A central goal of our research is to understand the implementation of neural computations in the visual system. We aim to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms that shape the physiological properties of neurons, and how these properties enable them to effectively process visual information. We furthermore investigate how neurons are organized in circuits to perform their specific computational tasks. Given that the ultimate goal of visual computations is to achieve appropriate behavioral responses to visual stimuli, we attempt to link both cellular and circuit properties to visually guided behavior.
Using Drosophila as a model organism offers the ability to specifically manipulate molecular and or circuit function in any cell type of interest using genetic tools. We combine cell-type specific genetic manipulations or pharmacogenetics with in vivo 2-photon calcium imaging or with the analysis of visually evoked behavior. Together, we can thus achieve a comprehensive understanding of specific neural computations, linking molecular mechanisms to circuit function and behavior.