How do natural environments shape the motor circuits and behaviours of an animal over time?
Adaptation to new environments with very different conditions has played a fundamental role during the evolution of life, and results in phenotypic variations within species. Plasticity is a key mechanism in this process which disruption can lead to neurological disorders. In neuroscience, this process allowed to gain insights into how neural circuits is shaped across diverse organisms from different species. For example, the presence of lizard neuronal features in the mouse brain, a molecular basis of burrowing behavior in sister species of mice, or the evolutionary of walking patterns within Drosophila species. However, how environment lastingly influences the plasticity of the neuronal circuits and ultimately define behavioral patterns within a species remain elusive. Here, we will close this knowledge gap using the nervous system of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and ,if possible, the human induced pluripotent stem cells. The work applies an interdisciplinary toolkit: machine learning based behavior analyses, advanced microscopy systems, functional imaging, modern molecular biology techniques, and bioinformatics.
- Abdul-Raouf Issa (Group Leader)
- Rashidatu Abdulaziz (Research Fellow)
- Gide Suleiman (Research Assistant)