Brain-wide mapping of neural activity controlling zebrafish exploratory locomotion.
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In the absence of salient sensory cues to guide behavior, animals must still execute sequences of motor actions in order to forage and explore. How such successive motor actions are coordinated to form global locomotion trajectories is unknown. We mapped the structure of larval zebrafish swim trajectories in homogeneous environments and found that trajectories were characterized by alternating sequences of repeated turns to the left and to the right. Using whole-brain light-sheet imaging, we identified activity relating to the behavior in specific neural populations that we termed the anterior rhombencephalic turning region (ARTR). ARTR perturbations biased swim direction and reduced the dependence of turn direction on turn history, indicating that the ARTR is part of a network generating the temporal correlations in turn direction. We also find suggestive evidence for ARTR mutual inhibition and ARTR projections to premotor neurons. Finally, simulations suggest the observed turn sequences may underlie efficient exploration of local environments.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.7554/elife.12741
Publication InfoNaumann, Eva; Dunn, Timothy; Mu, Yu; Narayan, Sujatha; Randlett, Owen; Naumann, Eva A; ... Ahrens, Misha B (2016). Brain-wide mapping of neural activity controlling zebrafish exploratory locomotion. eLife, 5(MARCH2016). pp. e12741. 10.7554/elife.12741. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17284.
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Dr. Dunn is a Forge Scholar and neuroscience researcher specializing in machine learning, particularly deep convolutional neural networks. His work has focused on how the brain controls behavior. Using original experimental techniques, fast whole brain imaging of neural activity, and high-speed monitoring of behavior in response to closed-loop visual stimuli in zebrafish, he was able to uncover the neural circuits underlying both visually guided and spontaneous swimming behaviors.<br
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology
The Naumann lab's goal is to understand how neural circuits across the entire brain guide behavior and how individuality manifests within these circuits. To dissect such circuits, we use the genetically accessible, translucent zebrafish to map, monitor, and manipulate neuronal activity. By combining whole-brain imaging, behavioral analysis, functional perturbations, neuroanatomy, we aim to generate brain-scale circuit models of simple behaviors in individual brains.
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